Madison Berry, KPTimes Editor

Early in June, 2015 KPark graduate Taylor Wise tweeted out a picture of his first painting ever-made with a paint set he’d bought earlier that day. Six months and fifty paintings later, Wise has made over $2000 selling his work, self-marketing through his social media accounts and later, his website

“It’s hard to market yourself-especially with no knowledge, and being 18,” Wise said. “But it really came together, pieced together, which was really neat. It wasn’t that hard, after I had a newspaper article written about me…That spread the word here in Kingwood. I got a whole lot of people lately. I can walk anywhere and a few people know who I am.”

Though Wise began painting only a few months ago, his biggest challenge hasn’t been mastering technique-it’s been furnishing his hobby.

“The biggest challenge is buying supplies,” he said. “Initially when I didn’t have any money, it was tough paying for a $100 set of paints, a $100 set of oils, materials, easel. I bought a kit that had like 12 sets..and then I figured out what colors I liked and then I bought tubes.”

Online, Wise describes himself as a ‘modern Impressionist’, taking influence from many different artists and a mix of styles.

“I like Van Gogh,” he said. “And Monet’s pieces, I can point out. I love his style. But where my color originally came from was a man named Leonid Afremov, and he’s unbelievable…if I could be like him in the next few years, that would be unbelievable. He doesn’t market through galleries, he’s entirely online.”

Wise’s work is a mixture between Impressionism and Expressionism. Impressionism is seen as painting a series of thoughts, characterized by blocky brush strokes like the paintings of Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir. Expressionism uses color to express emotion. Though Wise said there isn’t normally a deeper meaning behind what he paints, his inspiration comes from something more intangible.

“Typically, the main thing is that I look at a picture and I spot color,” Wise said. “When somebody looks at, say, the flag, all you see is red white and blue. But I can see the pink hues in the white, and then the darker values in the blue, and how my brain sees that is transferring those darker values into a different color to represent the darker value. So I would swap the lighter value of the blue with purple, and keep the darker value with dark blue. And then for the white it would be white, yellow, light red, pink, white. So that’s where my color concept comes from. And that’s what inspires me.”

Though Wise takes his inspiration from many places, his style comes to him of its own accord. His pieces are characterized by the use of very vibrant colors and heavy brush strokes.

“I like to see it as my use of colors and everything going on in the painting-it’s eye catching and it captures the image…I like to say that I live religiously by the color wheel,” Wise said. “So the way I do it, I don’t mix opposite colors, but I do try to mix the ones that are next to each other…so more to the point, I don’t have a plan. It just comes to me. I’ll look at a piece and think ‘wait, how did I do that?”

Wise is currently attending the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he’s studying business-and not taking a single art class. Even so, in the short time he’s been painting, Wise’s art has brought him recognition in both his hometown and at college, and brings with it other benefits.

“[It’s brought] a kind of fame…that’s been pretty interesting,”He said. “A few people know me by my artwork-I’ll walk around school, (I paint outside sometimes) and people are like ‘Hey, that’s that art kid!’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, that’s me!’…And money’s been pretty nice from this-it pays what a part-time job would, so to be able to do that is pretty cool.”

In the future, Wise plans to grow as an artist, exploring all the aspects of his talent.

“I’d like to expand my style, because a lot of it looks very similar, but then lot of it looks different, and I like that different look,” Wise said. “And I feel like it keeps evolving-you know, with only six months and 50 pieces’ worth, I could go so many places.”