Romeo Downer's artistic journey began years ago on the quaint Caribbean island of Barbados. During his early school days, Downer's artistic ability was brought to the attention of Carl Broodhagen, a well-known artist in the Caribbean. With Broodhagen's tutelage and encouragement, Downer was able to sharpen his drawing skills. Later, he joined the staff of Barbados' The Advocate newspaper, where his cartoons, many of which expressed the current political issues, became a popular installment of the daily publication. While Downer continued to to relish in his love for drawing, he also developed a new talent as an avid amateur photographer. He was able to put this new skill to task when The Advocate, filling in for photographers on several occasions.
At the age of 21, Downer immigrated to America and continued his education in photography. This led to a career with Hughes Aircraft Company in California where he was a Technical Research photographer. For many years he served as the company's aerial photographer and participated in the development of several systems for the US air defense.
Throughout Downer's 28 years at Hughes, he continued to hone his skills by attending art classes at UCLA and Arts Center in Pasadena. Unfortunately, he found that work and raising a family left little time for painting. Now, thanks to early retirement Downer can devote his time to his brush, canvas & passion.
his youth and West Indian experience with an artist's hand in
vibrant hues that bring the color, cadence and culture of the
Caribbean to life. His photographic background, namely his
attention to composition and detail, are strong influences in many
of his paintings.
MISSION STATEMENTI paint because painting is my passion. I can think of no other occupation that would give me the endless hours of challenge and satisfaction than that of creating art with my paint brush.
My medium is oil on canvas, and my subjects are mainly the beautiful people and places of the Caribbean where I was born and spent my teenage years. I greatly admire the realism paintings of the 19th century, but I believe the works of Winslow Homer influence me most. I am fascinated by the intense colors and magnificence of nature, and I find it interesting and often amusing watching ordinary people in the course of their ordinary lives. I try to capture all these on my canvas and share my experiences as I see them with my viewers. My mission is simple. I am pleased if people stop and look at my paintings and if I detect a smile or a frown on their faces, then my mission is accomplished.