From briefcase to paintbrush, life for artist Roland Miguel wasn’t always clear. Like most, he spent his younger years navigating the ins and outs of what the world had to offer him: the good, the bad, and everything else in between.
Despite eventually meeting the love of his life, wife Kathy, Miguel couldn’t help but remain feeling unfulfilled. Although he accomplished great success in the business world, both he and Kathy recognized that something was missing. The couple knew Miguel was hiding a tremendous gift those around him couldn’t see, which was a talent he had suppressed the majority of his existence.
That is, until Kathy decided he needed to make a drastic change in his professional life. She encouraged Miguel to resign from his professional duties and pursue a career as an artist. Since then, the couple has fully transitioned their lives: Kathy goes into work every day and Roland stays home and creates.
Miguel accredits Kathy not only as his artistic counterpart in a sense, but also as the reason he has been able to pursue his lifelong dream.
“If it wasn’t for her willingness to make that sort of sacrifice on our behalf, then I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing,” said Miguel. “So much of my finding out who I was meant to be came out of us discovering each other and learning how to love each other.”
Flash forward to today, Miguel’s exhibition will hang in the Paseo Art Space for the month of March; an accomplishment his younger self couldn’t have imagined.
“All my life I’ve avoided it out of fear. That’s what’s caused a struggle for me because I always knew if there was anything that I know I was meant to do, it was paint,” said Miguel. “It’s something inside of me that I have to express. It almost doesn’t matter to me if no one ever saw it because it’s just something that I have to do.”
After picking up a paintbrush only four years ago, Miguel still considers himself a “beginner,” although his paintings may say otherwise.
Working primarily with oil, Miguel says he’s always working on around five pieces at a time. Whether it’s creating something someone has commissioned him to do or practicing perfecting a new technique, he often lets the piece tell him where the vision is supposed to go.
While acknowledging his late start in life as an artist, Miguel tries not to limit himself artistically. “I have to get so much done before my time comes that I just want to paint anything and everything,” said Miguel. “Although I do love anything with eyes; people and animals mostly.”
In spite of his growing level of comfort with experimentation, Miguel’s evolution as an artist often times left him with an array of emotions. He regularly questioned, “Why did I wait so long? Have I wasted half my life?” But regret didn’t consume him for long.
“As a young man, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I do,” said Miguel. “Part of my development as an artist comes out of knowing everything has its time and this was my time to start.”
Miguel’s exhibition, which features 17 of his greatest works, will be on display at the Paseo Art Space Tuesday-Saturday 12-5pm through March 30. All pieces are available for purchase and you can learn more about Miguel and his work on his website.
BY CAROLINE CURTIS