Curtis Montgomery has been interested in drawing his entire life. It wasn’t until 7 years ago that he picked it back up and often times would practice his technique while working bad jobs. Montgomery has the rare privilege to be a full time artist. He works mainly on commission as well as doing illustrations and book covers. Being a full time artist hasn’t been the easiest task. What is considered art has changed since the times of some of the old masters. “There are a lot of people out there that consider themselves artists and don’t know the fundamentals of art.” Like every artist, Montgomery is competing for time and exposure.
Montgomery has received inspiration and direction from multiple venues. He spent some time working in a tattoo shop. He was able to learn a lot from the artists he worked with, who are now internationally known. He also sought out artist Ken Thornburn. Thornburn owns a gallery and mostly does photocopying and drawing. Montgomery was able to discuss art and what it meant to be a full time artist with an actual working artist. Montgomery also attended art school, for a year, in Toronto. He ended up leaving since the focus was more on illustration and graphic novels the 2nd year but he received great traditional fundamentalist instruction, which is helping with his art making.
Realism is Montgomery’s style of choice. It is his passion. Even when he creates images in more of a graphic style and breaks them down into simple shapes, Montgomery still uses realistic features. He has given himself a goal to reach hyperrealism in his pieces. His pieces have been compared to Normal Rockwell. Even though their styles and subject matter are different, he takes it as a huge compliment. He tries to resonate with Ken Dandy, a classic Canadian painter, and Andrew Wylles.
He is always scouting compositions—always keeping his eye open. “[I] look for anything that is aesthetically pleasing or looks good as a big piece.” Montgomery has many drawings of mills. The mills have always been around him and a part of his upbringing. Every time he would go to the beach or to visit family, he saw them. He always tried to draw them when he was younger but never felt comfortable or serious enough to study them, until recently. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete a project. Typically, his pieces sell right away once they are finished.
Montgomery wanted to pay a special tribute to his mom and his girlfriend. They both kept him going as an artist and believed in his passions.