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Give a man a brush and watch him paint

Wedlear Eugene has become a sought-after artist as people clamor to commission his abstract portraits
  • Portraits of former Bahamian NBA stars Mychal Thompson, left, and Rick Fox, painted by Wedlear Eugene.

  • Wedlear Eugene works on a portrait of NBA player James Harden in his gallery.

  • Wedlear Eugene with his portrait of former Bahamian NBA player Rick Fox.

  • Wedlear Eugene, 19, is one of the country’s up-and-coming abstract artists who has become a person in demand as people clamor to have him paint their portraits.

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: May 19, 2017

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A palette of acrylic, an airbrush, and his brushes are all Wedlear Eugene needs to make him happy. And he’s turned what for him was once just a passion into a business, as owner of Eugene’s Portrait Gallery.

Eugene, 19, couldn’t be happier that his passion is now his job, and that he’s now a sought-after artist with people clamoring to commission him for a portrait painting.

With the demand for his impressive portraits growing daily, he couldn’t be happier that his passion is now his job. With the support of his family thrown behind him, Eugene turned his passion into his job and is happily producing his in-demand special commissioned pieces. And when he isn’t working on a commissioned piece, you will find him in his workshop relaxing and painting whoever and whatever he feels like painting on any given day.

“Painting makes me feel calm,” said the shy artist. “And when I do something it makes me feel happy that I can do a painting for someone in a different format.”

The wowed reaction and satisfaction he gets from customers when he presents a finished piece makes him proud.

“The first thing they look at is the background — then the painting of the face. When they look at it together, it wows them.”

He has quite a number of commissioned works under his belt, but has also painted people he wants to paint for his own pleasure. The most famous person, in his estimation, that he has painted and presented with a portrait has been Tom Izzo, who coached Bahamian Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr. at Michigan State University.

The teenager has also painted and presented fellow artists Jamaal Rolle and Stefan Davis with portraits he’s painted of their likeness.

In his stable he has portraits of people such as former Bahamian NBA players Mychal Thompson and Rick Fox; football player Tom Brady; and baseball player Kris Bryant.

Rihanna, Beyonce, Wiz Khalifa, DC Young Fly, and on the local front, Sebas Sebastian are on his painting bucket list.

With Eugene in demand for his portraits, he’s happy to have his family support him in his endeavor.

“One time ago, to be honest, when I wanted to pursue it, they [family] used to tell me to go look for a job, and I used to do that, but I wouldn’t get any calls back, so I just planned on doing something for myself and this makes me happy. It’s a job and I’m happy doing what I love.”

Eugene’s passion for art goes back to his childhood. As a six-year-old, he remembers drawing houses but developing other styles as he matriculated through junior school and high school, when he decided to take the craft more seriously as his talent became more evident with the encouragement and tutelage from a number of teachers.

Eugene works mainly with acrylics and sometimes oil paint in the production of his portraits.

The self-taught artist also makes use of technology in the process. He says he can work from a photo, but uses an app to get the drawing the way he wants it, before he adds the background and allows it to dry. He then draws the image on it and begins to paint.

Today it’s hard to believe that a few years ago he said he couldn’t even draw hands. “Hands are hard to draw,” he said in a humble tone.

Eugene said a 24-inch by 36-inch portrait takes him approximately three days to finish, and he’s chomping at the bit to work on a 40-inch by 60-inch portrait.

His twin brother is also artistically inclined, but unlike Eugene, he gave up on art and currently works two jobs; however, he lends his encouragement to Eugene.

Eugene says he doesn't understand why his twin gave up, because he can do multiple styles, including realism, colored pencils and shading.

The abstract artist says he believes God gave him his talent, because he doesn’t know which family member he could have gotten it from.

To commission Eugene to produce a portrait, contact him at 809-0214 or Wedlear Eugene on Facebook, or on Instagram at art.unity_.

People wanting to commission a piece should give him notice, because due to his work schedule Eugene is very much in demand.


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