Highwaymen Art: "Another Perspective"
Roy A. McLendon Jr.
Roy Algin McLendon Jr. was born in the town of Bridgeton, a city in the farming area of southern New Jersey on October 7, 1955. When he was born, his parents, Roy McLendon Sr. and Annie B. McLendon were migrant workers that had traveled to the northern states for seasonal work.
Shortly after his birth, Roy and his family returned to Gifford, a small black community on the east coast of Florida, where his father began his artistic quest that was inspired by his neighbor Harold Newton, a deceased Florida Highwaymen.
Landscape and Seascape permeated his childhood along with an occasional still life or portrait. A natural artist from drawing in the sand to paint and brush at the age of eight in 1963 is when he truly began. In his teen years Roy began to paint alongside and his paintings with his father, Roy McLendon Sr., who is also inducted into Florida's Hall of Fame.
As a little boy growing up in the south, a flower, a citrus picker, wildlife, birds, deer, and other small animals, a wooden house on blocks, kids playing and clothes hanging on the clothesline give fondest memories of days gone by but stand very vivid in his mind.
Roy's material of trade at his start was that of most Upson board and crown molding for framing. His medium of choice is oil paint. He is known for his renditions of southern subjects and Carribean scenes, a fusion of Florida's lush landscapes with childhood memories of home places, backcountry sunsets, Royal Poinciana and the moonlit rivers and lakes.
The figures of African American fishing nets or mending nets, once an everyday sight in communities are often incorporated in his landscapes scenes. From the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribean incites a desire in him to paint so that people would not just see what he creates, but feel his creation as well. His goal was to make what was not accepted as fine art which is Highwaymen Art, to become recognized as fine art and he has accomplished it through the professionalism and dedicated artistry of his work.