As Glenn Hopkins peered out of a window at the Maguire Theatre a light drizzle of rain cascaded onto the street below where he was captivated by a scene that he would later transform into a painting.
In his painting titled, “Passing the Cup to Jonathan,” Hopkins used a palette knife to capture the brick façade of buildings on Poindexter Street as the owner of Bryon’s Hot Dog Stand is seen conversing with a customer.
“Sometimes things blossom in front of you,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins began drawing in the 1970s, concentrating on pencil work and charcoal. In 1972, he painted an oil painting of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse that he considers to be one of his favorite works because it was passed around his family and is now displayed in his own home.
“I’ve always been interested in the arts,” said Hopkins.
A member of the facilities crew at the Arts of the Albemarle, Hopkins has worked with various artists to showcase their art in the building. Hopkins said he often collaborates with artists and AOA staff members to present artists’ works, laying pieces on the floor, studying the color patterns and distance between each piece before selecting the optimum location for hanging the works.
Hopkins’ own paintings adorn the walls of the AOA as well as found pieces he utilizes in his art. Hopkins said he purchased bowls from a thrift store and “saw something in the grain of the wood” that inspired him to paint the sea and natural settings inside them.
Scanning the pages of magazines, Hopkins selects photographs which provide him with ideas for paintings. Hopkins said he also relies on his imagination for subjects.
Working at AOA, Hopkins has been able to attend artist workshops and gain valuable insights from local artists.
“They offer a lot of good information,” said Hopkins.
For the last year he has “been drawn to watercolor” and has acquired various techniques for using watercolors from artists at the AOA.
Currently, Hopkins is working on a painting of the Carolina Feed and Seed structure.
When he is not painting, he enjoys playing his guitar and singing. Hopkins, who learned to play the guitar at the age of seven, said that music is “something that is born in your blood.”
Hopkins said he “traveled up and down the East Coast” playing in a band for three years.
After he comes home from work each day, Hopkins walks upstairs to a small room where he paints in a quiet atmosphere. Hopkins said it is difficult to part with his artwork, but knowing someone else is appreciating his paintings is a “nice” feeling.