Rod’s work explores the relationship between naturalism and abstraction. He uses photographs as a resource to study his landscape subjects. He searches the Ohio landscape for hours to find a specific site and compositional viewpoint to photograph for use in a painting. “I don’t know what I’m looking for until I see it. I can shoot one hundred photographs to find one I can use,” he says of the process.
His paintings are done with an encaustic type of oil paint that comes in stick form. He applies the paint in both dry and wet layers, often grinding the paint into the painting or touching the dry ridges of the surface to end up with a thick impasto that mimics the physical complexities seen in nature. “I’m interested in drawing the viewer into the painting using illusionary space and the graphic rhythm of the shadow,” Rod says.
Rod grew up on a farm in Nebraska but has lived in Ohio for many years. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from Ohio State University and his Bachelor of Fine Arts Education - Painting and Drawing from the University of Nebraska. His work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Ohio, Nebraska and Illinois. He is Acting Director of Collections/Exhibitions plus Registrar of Columbus Museum of Art, where he has worked since 1987.