LGBTQ Artist Spotlight: David Rule

David Rule
David Rule's work can be found at galleries and art markets around St Petersburg. (Image provided by David Rule)

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His love of art and use of multiple mediums sets David Rule apart from other artists in the St Petersburg area. Rule’s work can be seen at galleries, vendor markets, and exhibits throughout the region. OUTCOAST sat down with Rule to learn more about his inspiration, techniques, and dream job.

Where did you grow up? Tell us a little about your upbringing.

I was born in Pennsylvania, although my family has lives mostly in the midwest with roots in Michigan. I have three siblings, born in three different states. We moved around many times, so it has always been easy for me to make friends and become acclimated to my surroundings without much difficulty. My two youngest brothers are close in age, so we generally had someone to to play with as children and always found something to do and get in trouble for!

Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

The holidays with my family have always been special.  Thanksgiving was always a time I enjoyed because my aunt and uncle would vis I still remember my father and aunt making stuffing with boiled chestnuts.  I can still smell how the kitchen was filled with that aroma.

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

I attended Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, MI.  My major was visual communications and art history so I suppose I am

practicing that with my artistic endeavors now.

How long have you lived in this area and what brought you here?

I currently live in Treasure Island, FL with my husband Christopher since May of 2014.  Several moves from Michigan through NYC and Delaware have led us here to continue and grow my art career.  We came down for a vacation and decided St. Petersburg was the place we wanted to live, so a year later, we made that move!

David Rule
David Rule’s Gallery can be found at the Skyway Marina Mall on 34th Street. (Image provided by David Rule)

What is your first memory of creating art?

I have loved creating art since my childhood and I remember that the cards and construction creations for my mother and father would always be adorned on our refrigerator for all to see. And the smell of a new box of crayons and coloring books is one of my many memories.

What is your favorite art subject to study? Favorite medium/materials to use?

My main mediums are watercolors, ink, and acrylic. My work reflects a bold use of color with black and white and a love of watercolor and ink for a dramatic impact to the viewer.  My favorite subject matter is male figurative images, whether realistic or abstract.  College studies in life drawing classes were the beginning of my amazement with the human body. My later studies as a massage therapist have broadened my knowledge of the human body and the wonderful muscle structure.

Most of my images are a reflection of what I enjoy the most….the male form, it is beautiful in respect to its inherent nature.

How do you decide what to work on at any given time? What inspires your work?

Those decisions change as often as the wind!!!   I love to go back and forth between male (and sometimes female) studies and abstract and a little surrealism.  I suppose what determines my path is what I’ve been involved with recently….maybe an art exhibit….social media…just depends and changes all the time.

I am always trying some new technique and I think reinventing myself over and over keeps it fresh and exciting.

Do you have a part/full time job outside of art, or is art your full time career?

I am creating art full time now.  It was something part time up until a year ago.

How many hours a day/week do you work on your projects?

I work in my studio approximately 6-8 hours a day except on weekends where I’m generally doing a market and Mondays.  But I’m ALWAYS        being inspired.

Do you work on multiple projects at a time, or one at a time?

YES!  I must. I always have a couple pieces going to keep me busy and to change up my subject matter.

It is wonderful to see such strong, creative LGBT couples in our community. How do you inspire and support each other’s work?

Christopher is my biggest fan and supporter without question.  Meeting him over 10 years ago inspired me to start getting back to my art creations and it’s only grown from there.  He has no qualms about letting me know if he loves or dislikes something I’m working on and he’s a sounding board for ideas or directions I take on any given piece.  I love his work as an author and I have always done what I can do support and share his ongoing endeavors involving his business with writing and young local authors.

If you could describe your dream lifestyle/career, what would it looks like?

I am about doing that now! I would really like to be in the spotlight more than I am, but I AM working on all that self marketing “stuff” that I’ve never laid claim to doing well.

David Rule
David Rule’s work can be found at galleries and art markets around St Petersburg. (Image provided by David Rule)

Where can supporters see and purchase your work? Any upcoming shows?

I have a gallery/studio space in the Skyway Marina Mall on 34th street. Many think it’s an abandoned building, but it’s full inside and I’ve got a small piece of my world in there! I will have an open house on Saturday, Feb 3rd, and in the Grand Central District’s 2nd Saturday Market down in front of Old Key West, with a few other artisans, most every month.  I was accepted to show in Nude Night Orlando on the 16th,17th, and 18th of February as well and will have two large pieces on display and for sale.

To learn more about David Rule, click here.

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