That isn't to say acrylics and pastels can't compare, Fletcher adds. They're just not for him.
The subject matter of the still lifes, Fletcher explains, is "an attempt to look timeless."
"It's something that could appear in today's world as well as 300 years ago," he adds.
Still lifes, Fletcher adds, are good to do during the winter months, "when it's not as inviting to be outside."
Fletcher says "art is the birdsong of humankind."
"My paintings are my sincere response to the beauty of the natural world and to life. ... I don't see (art) so much as an expression of ego as I see it as a harmonizing of our creative nature."
Trained in chemistry
It's interesting that Fletcher became an artist, a profession he's pursued full time for the past four years. He is trained in chemistry, and was working on his Ph.D. in toxicology when he decided he was on the wrong track.
He returned to Lexington, his hometown, and played piano professionally for about 15 years. Then he picked up art, which he says was a better fit for him. He also teaches classes in painting and gives workshops.
"I wasn't meant to be a scientist," Fletcher says with a wry grin. "And I've never turned back. It was a good move. Life turned a whole lot better at that point."
He won the Founder's Award last December at the Plein Air New Mexico Invitational for "Majestic Cumberland Falls" in Santa Fe, N.M. His painting was chosen from more than 400 entries. In June/July, his solo exhibit, "Paintings from Kentucky's Last Great Places, was at Artists' Attic in Lexington. Fletcher also has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine and was a winner in International Artists Magazine's "Still Life - Objects of Delight" competition in 2002.
Affiliated with several galleries
Fletcher is affiliated with Artists' Attic and Miller Fine Art in Lexington; Maple Tree Gallery; Anderson Gallery, St. Simon's Island, Ga.; and Willis Fine Art & Design, Cincinnati.
Being around people who appreciate art or the creation of art is one of the highlights of being a visual artist, Fletcher says.
"They're sensitive to beauty for its own sake," he notes. "Those kind of people are more likely to understand a mountain's value is more than the coal that it holds.
"I get to meet my creative need, which is a blast (by being an artist). I get to use art as a vehicle to connect people to the value of - at least with the landscapes - the importance of the undisturbed, natural places."
If you go:
"The Art of Still Life," oil paintings by Bill Fletcher, will be exhibited at the Community Arts Center in Danville through December.