My personal approach and intention is best summed up by Robert Henri in his book "The Art Spirit" in the following quotes: "When the artist is alive in any person... he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for better understanding... A work of art is the trace of a magnificent struggle… What we need is more sense of the wonder of life, and less of the business of making a picture. ...art is, after all, only a trace – like a footprint which shows that one has walked bravely and in great happiness."
The following excerpt is from ‘Interesting People of Ocean Springs’ by Ray L. Bellande:
"......While at USM, Reinike studied art with Dr. Charles Ambrose. His knowledge of plein air painting was acquired while a student of Charles Richards of New Orleans............Liberally self-taught, Reinike has an extensive knowledge of both the French and American painters of the 19th Century Impressionist movement. He has lectured on and taught his technique of using the color spectrum palette to many art enthusiasts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. (The Sun Herald, June 27, 1993, p. F4 and George E. Ohr Museum Guide, December 1-31, 1998). Reinike works primarily in acrylic and oil to create impressionistic canvases of landscapes, still life, and portraits. His paintings represent the experience of the artist conveyed in a visual language that can be observed and emotionally experienced by the viewer........Reinike has probably been the most prolific artist to recreate the landscape of Ocean Springs on canvas. His 1987 exhibit, “A Visit to Ocean Springs”, and 1989, “Shearwater Pottery”, are municipal treasures which will be lauded by future historians as a visual record of this city in the late 20th Century. In 1970, Reinike designed the d'Iberville monument, which now rests on the Civic Center grounds, and is registered within the Art Inventories Catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum."
Vernon’s experience with the Fine Artist’s creative endeavor is perhaps best reflected in his following poem:
…walked fields with old Pissarro
and gazed into ponds with Monet;
watched him fill the dusk
with sunlight from his brush
upon the harvest hay.
…watched the lure of sunshine send Sisley to Marley and Moret,
where he captured flood and buildings in the early part of May.
…seen the crows with Vincent,
in the distance fly away,
as he painted in the wheat field
on his final summer day.
…danced the canvas with Renoir painting Gabrielle’s sensual skin,
and dined with all these artists at Mere Anthony’s Inn.
…watched, as from America came Cassatt, Robinson, Metcalf, Chase and Hassam too,
then Benson and Frieseke, and finally Sargent, were captured by the new.
And now, much later I follow in their footprints, though giant steps behind,
as I search for Muse and Truth in whatever light that I may find.
- Vernon Reinike, 1987