OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Brad Brauser can still vividly recall his freshman year at Oklahoma A&M.
He entered an art contest for a $100 first prize, but was disqualified because his painting wasn’t yet dry.
“It was definitely tacky,” he admits now.
Upset and angry, Brad gave away his painting and his paints.
“I gave the painting away and gave away my brushes,” he repeats. “I thought, ‘I’m done with this and I don’t want anything to do with art of any kind. Zero.”
He did stay busy though.
Brauser became a physics and science teacher, and a school administrator.
He had a roofing and contracting business during summers, a jewelry business, and traveled all over Central America on missions trips.
“I never worried about doing something new,” he says.
But after triple bypass surgery in 2018, his wife bought him art supplies for his birthday to get him moving again.
By Thanksgiving he was back at the easel.
“You know, that wasn’t to bad,” he remembers thinking. “I might be onto something here.”
Assignments were something he was used to giving out as a teacher.
Brauser gave himself an assignment when he started artwork again, 83 paintings by his 83rd birthday.
That was a few years ago and he’s still keeping to his commitment even when the muse is silent.
“That’s tough,” he tells himself. “That’s what I set out to do and that’s what I’m going to do.”
His landscapes reflect his travels.
Geometric studies in triangles reflect his interest in science.
He starts each painting now never really knowing where it will take him, or what discoveries he might make along the way.
On this day, his brush is a piece of raw broccoli he uses to render leaves on a different type of foliage.
“You kind of work and see how you want the colors to flow,” he tells us as he dabs paint on his canvas.
A former student discovered Brauser’s rekindled artwork and gave him space at a gallery.
On a Memorial Day weekend, in his 86th year, Bradley Brauser, Artist, has yet another career to paint onto his long resume.
It’s something that keeps his going, and something it turned out he could do all along.
“Self discovery, to me,” he states, “is just about everything.”
Brauser is selling and displaying his paintings at the 2022 Paseo Arts Festival, Friday through Sunday, May 27-29.
For more information on the Festival, go to www.thepaseo.org/festival.
For more on Brauser’s work go to www.bradleybrauser.com.