LAWTON, OK (TNN) - An artist native to Lawton has returned home after spending decades living in different parts of the country.
It seems as though Hodd Whicker has lived a thousand lives. He has been in three movies, he went to seminary, he has written a children’s book, and of course, he is an artist.
These days, Whicker spends a lot of time painting. He said he wants to use his talent while he still can.
“Well, I got a lot of work going, but I’m 71 years old and I get a feeling I’m running out of time," said Whicker. "There’s only so many paintings left in me. So, I don’t want to be lazy at this. I’m in incredible shape for 71. I bucked hay as a kid, walked fast, talked fast, and so I’m in good shape. But, I don’t know how many more paintings I got. I want to get out the paintings that are left.”
During his early schooling years in Lawton, Whicker was exceptionally bright, receiving high test scores and praise from his educators. One had some career advice for him...
“He says, whatever you do, don’t be an artist," said Whicker. "He says be an attorney or a doctor. I looked at the yellow pages and they were full of doctors. All kinds of doctors and full of attorneys, and no artists! None.”
A true colorist, Whicker often uses colors like purples and reds to enhance the work in places you would not expect. But by the end, adding those colors seems to make perfect sense.
“It’s really wild how much fun painting is," said Whicker. "I mean, because, you can be so uninhibited.”
Whicker worked on a few pieces during the interview, including a dog painting, a painting of Mayor Stan Booker, and a western painting. Whicker said he likes to finish three paintings daily.
“This is how you get so much stuff done, is you assembly line them," said Whicker. "You just use your same palette. Put it to rest and just go from one to the other.”
Whicker still has an art studio in Oregon, but said he plans to close it down within two months, because as he puts it, you cannot have your feet in two canoes. For Whicker, that place to be now is Lawton.
“I was in a gigantic studio in Oregon. No one ever knocked on my door, and I wasn’t really motivated, and I missed my friends here in Lawton," said Whicker.
He has been back in town for about a year and said it has been better than he imagined it would be.
“I’m pretty jazzed on Lawton, on the new mayor. I see so much potential," said Whicker. “The people of Oklahoma are resilient.”
While Whicker is passionate about art, he is more passionate about his faith.
“You don’t have to figure out how God’s going to bless you. He’s got that covered," said Whicker. "You know, a lot of people think that they’ve got to plan tomorrow. The Lord says worry about today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. So, the Lord blesses me so much. He really takes care of me.”