9: Meet John Kushmaul

John Kushmaul's distinctive paintings of Little Rock have probably caught your eye more than once. His impressionistic style is two parts lovely and one part melancholy--a tone not easily juxtaposed--and is just enough to keep you gazing into the city that you thought you had memorized. 

1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: John Kushmaul; I am currently the Weekend Assignment Editor at KARK and KLRT, I also paint pictures that sell at Gallery 26, Stephano's and the Arkansas Studies Institute; I live four blocks north of my studio, which is above Vino's. I have had the studio for 16 years and lived downtown for abut 10. 

2. You capture Little Rock in your paintings in such a lovely way. What first inspired you to make Little Rock your muse? Thanks! I first started painting Little Rock in the mid to late 1990's. I would take a camera to shows and around downtown and paint from the pictures I took. People like the results so I've kept it up.

3. Do you trade or collect work from other local artists?  I do trade with local artists, and have a small but growing collection, my most recent additions are a picture of two bears working through a relationship by Sulac, and a series of beautiful prints by Katherine Rutter

4. It's a random Sunday -- what's on your agenda? For seven years, from the spring following my move to downtown until two years ago when I went back to work in television, I played kickball. Fourteen seasons, numerous minor injuries and a concussion, I never missed a game. For the past two years I've been in the office. After work I will paint for a couple of hours, then catch whatever Sunday night must-see tv show is on with friends.

5. What do you think is LR's best kept secret? Little Rock's best kept secret? The cost of living is low. Little Rock has been a good place to try, and fail, and to try again.

See some of his art below (click to advance) or at galleries and living rooms all around Little Rock.