ABINGDON, Va. — Robert Norris never dreamed that after completing a nearly eight-year stint in the U.S. Army, he’d find himself in front of an artist canvas.
He’d always enjoyed drawing as a kid — especially comic book characters — and he even sketched a few tattoos for his fellow servicemen.
But painting was just one of those hidden talents that surfaced after the Abingdon man left the military as a sergeant when his contract ended in July. From 2011 to 2019, Norris served in the Middle East during Operation Enduring Freedom, the official name used by the U.S. government for the Global War on Terrorism.
His art business is Chaos III Creations, appropriately named after a military unit he was part of while stationed overseas.
The veteran described his art style as universal, taking in everything from realism to landscapes and comic book styles.
One of his first exhibits will be on display Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 at Gather Inn at 155 E. Main St. in Abingdon during the Blue Ridge Busker Fest downtown. The exclusive three-day art show will showcase the different ways Norris conveys emotion in his artwork.
A reception for the artist is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, at Gather Inn.
Norris believes his new hobby is like therapy for him, giving him a sense of peace when wartime memories begin to surface.
One of his paintings shows flames erupting from the helmet of a soldier.
“I guess I was having a rough time when I painted that one,” he said. “I needed an outlet when I got out of the service — especially when my thoughts revisit the good and bad times there. Putting something on canvas has helped me out a lot.”
Norris recommends creativity for all people — not just veterans. “It’s very therapeutic to take what you feel and create something about it. Just create something with whatever emotions you are feeling.”
For the most part, Norris enjoys painting people, animals and landscapes. Comic book…
Read the full article at https://www.swvatoday.com/news/article_1e10aa47-aab2-53eb-ae18-bd2f79cd6de4.html