At age 18, Tyler Kilbourne is probably the youngest artist in any Rim Country gallery.
"It is a very interesting, unique experience that obviously I am pretty new to," Kilbourne said.
His grandmother, Nancy Smith, was a painter. She inspired him to draw, from the time he could hold a pencil.
"She always gave me drawing supplies. I used to come up to her cabin and we would draw stuff together," Kilbourne said.
This past spring, he took his first drawing class at Gila Community College. He is working toward completion of his associate degree.
Now, when he sees a landscape he likes, he takes a photo from several angles. He might look at similar pictures he has collected before he begins to draw the new scene.
He might choose to draw freehand with pen or charcoal or add watercolors to a particular piece.
Or, he might use an electric drawing tablet attached to his computer.
"Drawing with a computer is really not a shortcut like some people think. It takes four to 10 hours, the same as a regular drawing would," Kilbourne said.
Still, Kilbourne's most challenging artwork to date is a waterwheel in pen and ink that took him about 15 hours to complete.
He has done commissioned landscapes, cityscapes and wildflowers.
A degree in graphic design or computer science, with a minor in fine arts is the previously home-schooled youth's goal.
"I have the talent and I think it's God's will for me to use it and I love doing art," Kilbourne said.
When his fingers are not busy with a pen or a watercolor brush in hand, they are busy strumming an acoustic guitar.
"I play a lot of bluegrass, worship and gospel," he said.
Name: Tyler Kilbourne
Medium: Pen & Ink, CG Art, Caricatures, Spacescapes
Inspiration: The forest.
Awards: Second and third place Junior Division ribbons at the 2006 Northern Gila County Fair.
Current project: My grandfather in New Mexico sent a photo of "an old shop he likes."
Why the Rim Country? I moved with my family to Tonto Village from Queen Creek when I was 9.
Hobbies: I ride motorcycles with my brothers and my dad.
Music: I listen to all kinds.
Author: C.S. Lewis
Movie: Lord of the Rings
Points of contact: www.kilbournes.org or (928) 951-0222 and at Down the Street Art Gallery. 703 W. Main St., Payson, (928) 468-6129.