Painter’s back at Kimball
Aaron Fritz isn’t the portrait of an artist.
He wore a solid-colored golf shirt and a sunny, youthful smile at Friday’s gallery stroll. He names his paintings after the music he listens to while creating them, mostly Bruce Springsteen and Pink Floyd.
Never mind that since picking up a brush in 2004, Fritz has been one of the best-selling artists in Utah. Never mind that he sold 42 pieces in the first hours of the 2005 Park City Arts Festival, his first, or that he sold 26 paintings when he exhibited his work in 2006 at the Kimball Art Center.
Aaron Fritz is not a typical artist. But he’s back selling art.
Fritz’s strange landscapes, vibrant colors and sliding perspectives are on display in the Badami Gallery at the Kimball Art Center. His more than 20 new works will be shown until July 14.
"Other artists have a tough time seeing you walk in and be successful," he said.
"People want to buy from a full-time artist . . . They want to see me in holey jeans. But I’m at the easel eight hours a day."
Fritz owns a mortgage company in Ogden and works there during the day.
That leaves between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. for the father of four to do most of his painting. He said he doesn’t like to spend longer than two sittings on a piece.
"We have a basement, so I can turn my music on full blast and not disturb the sleeping bodies upstairs," he said.
Fritz said he is aware of the duality of his life. As if dividing his brain into different hemispheres, he keeps his art-related business cards in his left pocket and his mortgage business cards in his right.
He stood in front of a painting, called "Election," Friday evening that pictures a tree with achingly red leaves on a green hill.
"I’m more prolific than a lot of artists," he said. "I did all of these in about three-and-a-half weeks."
Fritz majored in business at Weber State University and didn’t start painting professionally for years. "We tell people I got my bachelor of arts, and that’s all I say," he laughed.
Fritz composes his pieces in three dimensions on a computer before going to the canvas. He favors bold colors and simple landscapes, usually with trees in them. He rarely paints blue skies, but most of his scenes take place in summer.
He said technology plays a big role in inspiring him.
"I used to play video games," he said. "Dungeons and Dragons. That’s when I started doing the 3-D art. I realized the ease of use through design."
Fritz named impressionists Claude Monet and post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh among his influences. "This is how I get lost," he said. "It’s my uninterrupted time."
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.