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The SCENE Magazine

AS REAL(ISM) AS IT GETS: Isaac Rodriguez

May 17, 2012 06:06PM ● By Kelley Dawson

Featured Artist: Isaac “Ike” Rodriguez

Much like a photographer with a fast lens, artist Isaac “Ike” Rodriguez captures a moment in time or a candid expression that absolutely memorizes. But, his realism is created using acrylics and his amazing talent with a paint brush. Rodriguez rubs a neocolor crayon over the acrylic which gives the appearance of a fine oil painting.  Each meticulous brush stroke and the placement of light and shadow all add up to a depth and perspective of a photograph. Rodriguez said he enjoys fooling someone into thinking what he painted in 2-D looks more three dimensional. “You can put your hand in it,” as Rodriguez described.

Rodriguez recounted that his mother and father both draw well, so Rodriguez began drawing at a young age. He said, “I did anything I could do that was art when I was young.” Rodriguez would copy black-and-white cartoon drawings his father made while attending a continuing education class at a local college.  Years later at a Houston Astros baseball game, Rodriguez saw a painter actively creating a piece depicting his sports heroes. He decided then and there to give painting a try. Rodriguez didn’t think any of his paintings were good. He said he wanted to set his first attempts on fire. He then called the official artist to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Robert Hurst, to mentor him. Rodriguez expressed, “It’s a different world when you start adding color.” He said Hurst showed him the tricks to using color and helped him get subjects to “look like they should.” Rodriguez admires the shadows and wrinkles in faces. He sees life happening and “wants to put it on canvas.” Rodriguez succeeds at not only capturing a look, but “someone remembering something that happened to them.” With only a few years of lessons, Rodriguez was asked by a friend attending a sports memorabilia show to paint a portrait of former Miami Dophin player, Steve Slaton. The portrait was so impressive that Slaton signed it. Thus, opening another venue for Rodriguez in the portrait painting arena. Other sports memorabilia fans and even sports figures, such as NFL player Donnie Avery, started requesting paintings from Rodriguez. He welcomed the challenge and knows that painting people “is not what a lot of people do well.”  Rodriguez said he appreciates his mentor and friends for helping him grow his talent and network his business. Rodriguez added he now has a new-found appreciation for what athletes do.  They are always working even off-season because “they love what they do.”  Much like the dedication of the athletes, Rodriguez paints. He, too, is always working. Rodriguez expressed that he would love more opportunities to paint his local heroes and especially members of his favorite football team, the Houston Texans.

June 23 and 24, Rodriguez will have art auctioned during the Earl Campbell Charity Weekend benefiting Multiple Scoliosis of Houston in The Woodlands.

Meet the artist at his inaugural art show at Bakkhus Taverna (605 6th Street in Kemah) Thursday, May 17 from 7 to 10 p.m. Enjoy music, light refreshments and view his art. To see more of his work or commission a painting, visit or call 281-788-2843.

~ By Kelley Dawson