Featured Artist: Tim Grasper

Dillsburg Library’s Featured Artists for May and June 2024 are Mike Jordan and Tim Gasper. Shelby Pizzarro recently caught up with Tim.


What is the source of your inspiration?

In the 1980s I visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and they had a large exhibit of the Garbisch Collection of American Folk Art. I bought several books on folk art in the book store there. That inspired me to begin painting.
I am inspired by other folk and fine art painters as well, such as Grandma Moses, Horace Pippin, John Kane, Max Raffler, and the Italian Carlo Carra, a modernist who included primitivism in much of his work. For subject matter, I draw a lot on my “baby boomer” childhood in West Virginia.

How would you describe your art?

I am a self-taught folk painter. I guess the term frequently used would be “naive” or “primitive.”

What do you enjoy most about creating new art?

I enjoy seeing my ideas take form and go from my imagination to visual reality. Also, as Grandma Moses said, it’s just important to keep busy.

How do you start new work? Is your process always the same? If not, how does it change?

My process is basically the same. I like to buy interesting vintage or antique frames in thrift shops and cut boards to fit them, gesso the boards and decide what ideas would fit the type and size of the frame best. I do preliminary drawings on paper and transfer them to the board, then begin painting in. This is the same process Grandma Moses used for her artwork.

Do you have a favorite medium? Has your preference changed over the years?

I started out painting in gouache and oils, but have found acrylics to be more practical. They are non-toxic.
I gave up oils when my cat jumped up on my table and sat on my palette, right in the cadmium orange. It was a mess!

Do you ever experience a creative block? If so, how do you rejuvenate your creativity?

Yes, and when I do, I switch to making crafts for a while until I get more ideas for paintings.

Do you have a favorite/inspirational quote?

Yes! It’s from Grandma Moses: “If I hadn’t started painting, I would’ve raised chickens.”

Do you have any current or future projects you’d like to share?

I recently opened an eBay shop and will sell my crafts and small paintings (and various collectibles) for charity. 100% of proceeds will go to PETA.

If someone is interested in your work, how can they reach you? 

I will be creating a website through the Hanover Arts Guild website, but currently have some of my work on my Facebook art page, TimGasperArt at: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100082880821796 or my email address: [email protected]


Timothy John Gasper

Tim describes himself as a “self-taught folk and outsider artist” who works with oil, acrylic and gouache paints. A long-time member of the Folk Art Society of America, Tim has had one-person exhibits at several venues, including the Triple-Brick Museum and the Martinsburg Public Library, both in Martinsburg, West Virginia; the Oldcastle Theater in Bennington, Vermont; the Latchis Gallery in Brattleboro, Vermont; and the United Church of Christ, also in Brattleboro. His paintings are included in private collections in many states in the eastern U.S. and in Washington, D.C.

One of Tim’s paintings appeared in a television episode of “Ghosts of Shepherdstown” on the Destination America Channel. An article about his paintings was published in the September – October 2022 issue of Boston Spirit Magazine. Tim currently shows his paintings at the Hanover Area Arts Guild gallery, where he also won an award in their Annual Fall Show in November 2023.

Mike Jordan

Artist/Illustrator Mike Jordan is an occupational therapy assistant, bartender and artist. He creates his art with alcohol-based markers and colored pencil as well as enamel and acrylic paint on Bristol board. He draws his inspiration from his love of the ocean, rural living, sports and vintage photography.
Mike grew up emulating artists such as Norman Rockwell for his visual storytelling; Johannes Vermeer for his dynamic use of light; and Ron English for his brilliant use of brand imagery. Mike also gives credit to “all those beautiful comic books I got to read as a child” as a source of inspiration. He is a member of the Hanover Area Arts Guild, where he shows his work.

View the Art in May and June

Visit the Dillsburg Area Public Library, located at 204 Mumper Lane in Dillsburg.
Hours are Monday to Thursday, 10am-8pm; Friday 10am-3pm; and Saturday 10am-5pm.