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Local Man’s Late-In-Life Artistic Talent Proves Successful

William Rose’s artistic talent didn’t start at a young age like most, but instead came out of nowhere during his middle age and shocked him and many of those around him.

Almost 12 years ago Rose spotted his oldest daughter’s, Allie’s, sketchpad for the art class she was taking in school. Rose had just come back from a KU softball game where he took tons of photos of the players emotions. He found an image that showed a lot of intensity in the face. Rose began sketching the girls face as a fun and random thing to do. To his surprise he spent more than an hour on the sketch and once it was finished he was shocked to see that the sketch looked just like the girls face from the photo.

“I really had no idea that I could do that” Rose said, “so my first reaction was, this is easy, everybody should be able to do this.”

He showed it to his wife, Cheryl, and told her to just try it, he thought she could probably could if he could. She responded with a puzzled look on her face. This told Rose that there was no way she would try and be able to make it as well or as simple as he just did. Rose had never taken an art class before in his life, so for him to be able to get that image down on paper the way he did for the first time drawing a portrait like that.
“It just kind of blew me away,” Rose said, “I had no idea I could do that.”

Rose was a photographer throughout his high school and college career and continued taking photographs when he moved up to Colorado Springs in the 70s. He always knew he had a good eye for photos by finding good textures, colors and lighting but never thought to apply his skills to drawing or painting until that one day 12 years ago.

Once Rose discovered his love and talent for art, he began drawing more and more. He began drawing with charcoal when he was requested to by the parents of kids he coached. Parents would come up to him and ask him to draw a portrait of their kids from a photograph of them playing their sport. Soon after that Rose wanted to begin to experiment with oil paintings.

“I picked up a few books on painting and some oil paints and started painting,” Rose said, “And I loved it, I haven’t stopped since.”

Rose knew he had to get his work shown to people in other places beside Prairie Village if he wanted to make a career out of it. He entered one of his charcoal drawings, Rossina’s Apple, (which is a drawing of a young woman about to bite into an apple with a very intense look on her face) into a yearly competition for American Artist magazine as a last minute decision on the last day that entries were being accepted. A month or two later the magazine emailed him telling him that his drawing was one of the 10 finalist for the magazine cover. The 10 finalist all received a feature about them in the magazine, so Rose was thinking that being featured was an honor, he never imagined anything more coming out of it. A couple weeks later the magazine called Rose to inform him that his drawing would be featured on the cover of their magazine. He had won the competition.

With his artwork on the cover of American Artist magazine, his work began to grow and get more popular. By 2008 people began knowing and noticing his artwork.

One day he received an unexpected phone call. The producers of, The Forger, wanted to use his artwork in their film. CLint Eastwood brought the movie together along with the director, Lawrence Roeck. The movie’s plot is all about a boy, Josh Hutcherson, who is an art prodigy, but all of the art you see in the movie that you think is drawn by Hutcherson, is actually all Rose’s work. He had to paint a mural on a ceiling that was 20 feet by 16 feet, with almost all figurative artwork.This means mostly artwork that comes from real life objects.Rose flew out to California and was on set for almost three months creating artwork for the film. While on set the director noticed the photography skills that Rose had and asked him to stay and shoot all of the behind the scene photos.
[media-credit name=”” align=”alignleft” width=”211″][/media-credit] [Josh] was a lot of fun, he was the kind of guy that kind of like jokes around with the crew. I played basketball with him,” Rose said about during the downtime on set, “He’s a cool kid.”

After the movie was finished filming Rose came back to Prairie Village and his artwork became more and more popular. He creates about one painting a week because most of his painting are at least 5 ft tall. His Artwork is featured at Artichokes, which is owned by the Pashia family on Mission Rd and 105th street. People in the area can come in and watch him paint every so often in the afternoons along with a few other artists from the area.

Rose’s dream is to have his artwork featured in a gallery on one of the North American coasts or Chicago. He has been asked to have his artwork in a few already. With all of the work he has going he has not been able to get a collection big enough to send up there.

Rose has seen the importance of getting his work out there in his career thus far. If he would have never entered his artwork into the American Artists competition, he may have still been in the first stages of an up and coming artist. Now he has made it so much further.

“If I had any advice for young artists it would have to be, It’s not just what how you’re going to create and how you are going to create it, and if people are going to like what you create, you have to get it out there and get it in front of people, and build up that resume.” Rose said.

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Julia Seiden

Julia is a junior this year and a staff writer for her first yea of being on The Harbinger staff. She enjoys traveling, being with friends and being part of The Harbinger. Read Full »

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