The instructor was the son of Kimon Nicolaides, muralist and author of “The Natural Way to Draw.”
Brinker uses things he learned in that long ago class in the drawing and painting classes he instructs at North Country Cultural Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh.
After high school, Brinker took a year off and worked as a landscaper. Then, he attended the Laguna Beach School of Art in the early ‘80s.
“I knew I just wanted to study fine art. I knew the likelihood it would get me a good career was pretty slim. The art school was fantastic. Because it was not accredited, the teachers there were working artists, and it was a fantastic experience for me.”
During and after college, he apprenticed in the sculpture studio of Louis Cohen.
“When I left college, I made a lot of bad decisions on how to progress. I did a lot of work for art-handling companies. I mostly boxed and crated art for shipment,” Brinker said.
All the while, he was trying to do his own art, and not succeeding.
He went through a divorce and ended up working as a clay modeler like his father.
“I made full-size clay models. For me, that was a great experience. I was taking two-dimensional drawings and made three-dimensional models. It was interesting for me to see the transition,” Brinker said. “Now that I’m painting again, it’s fun to be going from three dimensions to two dimensions.”
In his artist statement, Brinker writes:
“I am intrigued by what happens when my eye interprets an object that exists in space, and through the use of my hand attempts to recreate this object on a two-dimensional surface. There is so much that can happen in this process, and much of it is frustrating but also pleasing.”