“I like to paint with oil because of the richness of the colors, and it is so forgiving. I can also mix my paint on the canvas,” Flint explained. “My favorite painting I have done so far is this one in our den,” Flint said as he pointed to an abstract oil of sailboats. “Paramount to me is to create sensual experience versus the tedium of exactitude. The precision of realism and details in my earlier works (see the watercolor painting River Boat Paducah at River Discovery Center) is fascinating, but rarely do the details create dramatic movement or depth on the flat surface of canvas. However, the right combination of colors can transport one emotionally immediately. Colors, like smells and sounds, evoke memories of time and place. Most sailors are passionate about their boats; I preserve those memories for them.”
Flint holds a fine arts degree from East Tennessee State University and a Masters of Art College Teaching from Murray.
In the early ’80s he moved his family to the Galveston Bay Area where he built skyscrapers as an ironworker. While there, he also worked for U.S. Homes drawing architectural renderings. Living in the Bay Area, Flint and his three sons built a 14-foot wooden sailboat; then, after not-so-good results with the handmade boat, bought a 25-foot US Yacht. Some of the family’s fondest memories are of sailing from Kemah, Texas, out to Redfish Island in Galveston Bay to spend the night. “Those experiences planted a love for sailing in our family, especially our oldest son Eli who sails with me when he comes up from Atlanta.” As far as the rest of the family’s interest in sailing, Flint said, “Jane (his wife) is or pretends to be interested in whatever we can do together. She’s been a great shipmate for 42 years.”
After working in Texas, Flint transferred to the Nashville area. Drawn to older homes of the old South, Flint painted General Winchester’s 1793 home “Cragfont” in Gallatin, Tennessee. An edition of 1,000 prints was sold out. Another edition of 1,000 prints nearly sold out of “Fairvue,” an antebellum mansion in Hendersonville. While still residing in Tennessee, he designed the official seal for Sumner County.
A job offer in Paducah gave the Flint family the opportunity to move to the hundred-year-old Brooking homeplace in Ballard County, the house where Jane had grown up. There Flint used a different art skill, renovation, and a different kind of painting; however, he continued to create paintings of homes. In 1993 in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and Citizens Bank his watercolor “White Haven in the Snow” with prints was used as a fundraiser. The original hangs in the Citizens Bank Building.
Traveling has influenced Flint’s life. He has made several trips to Europe where he was able to view architecture, painting and sculpture of the great masters. In 2007, Jane and he toured the East Coast. “We stopped to view sailboats along the route from Jamestown to Acadia, the reproduction schooners and sailing ships of Mystic Harbor. For me, one of the highlights of our trip was the USS Constitution in Boston. After the trip we bought a 33-year old sailboat,” Flint said. “We spent the rest of the summer sanding, painting, and completely restoring that boat. Not something that we ever want to do again. I sold that one last summer and bought a bigger one that didn’t need restoration.”
Flint retired from teaching art at Concord Elementary in December. Retirement affords him time for the lake and sailing Kula Kai, his Beneteau 285 sailboat, and when skies are stormy and the winds are too strong, he is back to his easel painting more sailboats and cruisers.