CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Richard Mcnamee's artwork looks as real as the scenery he paints. Painting is not only a labor of love, but a passion for Mcnamee who has never met a canvas too big or too small to showcase his devotion for the Lowcountry.
"I started thinking about paining these things I love so much," McNamee said.
McNamee described his inspiration coming from the marsh he spent time playing on as a little boy near Younges Island in Hollywood.
"This was my experience. The marshes, rivers, going out on the boats," McNamee said.
Originally from Pennsylvania, the McNamee family moved to Edisto Island when he was a little boy then to Younges Island. McNamee spent most of this time as a kid absorbing his natural surroundings and taking mental snapshots, then started putting his thoughts on canvas as a teen.
"I was painting what I really loved and I would get out and sit out there half the night, just painting and kind of getting lost," McNamee said.
At the age of 71, McNamee still has the steadiness of hand and a great eye for detail as he paints.
He loves to paint on practically anything like oyster shells and jewelry. But a huge favorite of fans as well as his wife are his paintings done on a 2 by 2 inch canvas. McNamee says he started paining on a mini canvas to make more money and so everyone could afford his artwork.
"I have had people tell me it feels like you can step into his paintings and walk to the beach," said his wife Bobbie.
McNamee works part time at a local thrift store, but tries to still devote countless hours a week painting and teaching others the craft that has been a huge part of his life. Painting also helped connect him to his first love over two and a half decades ago in an art class.
" I think we're happiest when he's painting,"Bobbie said.
McNamee paintings can run from $20 all the way up to $2500, and his mini paintings can take about an hour of work, while his larger paintings can take up to 20 hours.