Artist draws inspiration from 80 years in Millerton
MILLERTON — Ray Loper has lived in Millerton for 80 years, and it’s here he’s drawn inspiration for his oil paintings.His work is on display at DVR Art Supply and Framing on Main Street in Millerton.The exhibit features a variety of local churches as seen through Loper’s eyes.“I think they call that artistic liberty,” he joked.Loper likes to paint structures such as old barns and lighthouses, but to put them in a scenery that he creates in his mind.“I start with a building and then add the details I want to see. The nice thing about being around for 80 years is you remember things that don’t exist anymore, like sleighs, which I can paint into a scene because it’s what I want to be there,” he said.Loper began painting in the early 1950s and is completely self taught.“I was hospitalized in the early 50s and one of the workers got me into painting. I knew I had some talent, but when I got out, there were bills to pay. I had to go to work and didn’t really have the time to work on painting,” he said.Loper stressed that his work takes time and patience.“When I retired 14 years ago I finally had the time to sit down and paint. It’s something I knew I wanted to do more of when I got the time,” he said.Loper created his current collection with the help of his wife, Carol Loper, who photographed the churches for Ray to work from.“I started with Smithfield Church in Amenia. I was so happy with the way it turned out, I wanted to do more churches. It’s great to live in a country where there are so many religions. Not everyone has that freedom, and it’s really celebrated in our communities, you can see that with how many churches I was able to paint,” he said.For more information on the exhibit call DVR Art Supply and Framing at 518-789-6871 or stop by 65 Main St.To contact the artist, call 518-78-3109.