Interview with Kevin Veara, RHINO 2014’s artist


Kevin Veara, thank you so much for your wonderful and whimsical painting for our 2014 cover.  Thanks for agreeing to let us into your process!

Tell us about your interests for your art, and how you make your art.

Nature is what I am interested in and where my concern is in regards to my paintings. I work my ideas out on paper before transferring themto boards. Using a limited color pallet of acrylics I feel it allows me more freedom in other areas of my work. I sometimes incorporate the bird’s call into the piece at the very end if I think it will work.

How did you arrive at the final design and colors for the cover? (and/that is) What was the process for making it?

I wanted to give the rhino a voice showing it as a living entity as I do with my birds. After sketching out many ideas I committed to a few and transferred the rhinos to small boards. I then used the same pallet that I was currently working with at the time with my work.


Was this / if so, how was this different than other projects you’ve done?

RHINO was different for me because it took me out of my comfort zone a bit. I don’t normally do commissions but this project caught my interest. I am grateful to be asked to participate in this project and am pleased with the finished work.

So are we!

Are any of your RHINO drawings available as tattoos?

No, but I have transformed paintings into tattoos before when requested. My work when it comes to tattooing is usually completely based on what the customer already has in mind. I then will work with them on ideas but also use my artistic input for the final layout of the tattoo.

What are some of your upcoming projects?

The IL State Museum is having a show (Sep 2014) dealing with text that I have been invited to participate in and I will be able to incorporate some of the ideas that I have been working with recently in new work. UIS is hosting Biofied another show (April 2015) that some local artists and I are putting together. In Biofied we will be dealing with GMO technology and its effect on animals and their surroundings.americana-07

What do you like to do in your free time?

For the past twenty years I have been volunteering at Lincoln Memorial Gardens where I lead bird hikes in the Spring and Fall. I am currently restoring my seven acres next to the Sangamon River hoping to restore it to its original state by removing all exotic plants. Traveling, bird watching and painting take up most of my free time

Do you like poetry?

I typically read non-fiction, art or nature publications. Some of my favorite poets are Emerson, Whitman, Wallace Stevens, Annie Dillard and Agnes Martin.


For more information about Kevin Veara and his paintings, visit or visit him with an idea at Black Moon Tattoos.

For information about previous RHINO artists, click here.

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