Saturday, November 10, 2007

Homer O Hacker, AWS at the Middletown Arts Center

"The Clan Chief" Watercolor "April at the Met" Watercolor Norm Leist and Homer at the opening of the Middletown Arts Center Annual Reunion Exhibit "A Family of Artists featuring Homer O. Hacker" Last night I met my parents at the Middeltown Arts Center Annual Reunion Exhibit featuring Homer O. Hacker and five of his family members. Sons, Thomas Hacker, FIFA (architecture); William W. Hacker (architecture); Jon Christopher Hacker, (architecture design), granddaughter Jenifer Hacker, fashion design, and grandson Kiran F. Hacker, designer. I went with my parents to the opening of this exhibit because my father, Norman Leist, knows Homer from the golf course where he works. Homer comes with his group (ages 88 to 93) to play and this summer, through conversation, they discovered a connection through my fathers uncle, Jim Harlan. Jim was a photographer at the Dayton Daily News back in the 50's and worked with Homer. Homer headed up the production department (i.e. commercial art) for the DDN. Homer is a member of the American Watercolor Society (if you go to, Homer wrote the history of the organization). He has been painting with watercolor since 1963. In the brochure, Homer stated, "I was attracted to paint watercolor because of its reputed difficulty. I accepted the challenge to try it. I found that it fit my personality better than oils or acrylics..." Homer's work can be described as pictorial realism. His commercial art background comes through in his strong design composition skills. Homer is 90 years old and still producing fabulous paintings. I especially enjoyed his portraits. The expressions and details in the faces were awe inspiring. Along with the pictures above, I also liked the painting when we entered the exhibit. It was of a Harley with a tarp blowing off. I could feel the wind taking the tarp and revealing the shiny motorcycle underneath. I was also fascinated with his signature on his paintings. If you click on one of the paintings above it will enlarge and you will see his signature on the right. Homer's signature is on the side with a firefly in a box. It is very oriental in its look. It reminded me of James McNeil Whistler in the way he signed his paintings with a butterfly. Homer's statement on why he began using watercolors resonated with me, because that is why I began using watercolors. I too, lean toward realism in my paintings. However, I am still working on the design skills. Homer is an inspiration and it was an honor to meet him and see his paintings. I hope everyone reading this lives to still enjoy their passions long into their nineties like Homer. Gaylynn

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