Issac Knight is one of the 26 artists from Florida that have been recognized as Highwaymen Artists and entered into the Florida's Hall of Fame. The group was a loose association of young and talented African-American painters who painted Florida landscapes in 1950s through 1960s and 1970s. Issac Knight paintings are not just examples of the Highwaymen art, but well-respected as a historical work, the soulful outpourings of a son of the plantation workers Arthur and Mabel Knight.
Seemingly insignificant twists of fate paint deep hues and public highlights of Issac Knight's life. From these twists, we find Issac Knight paintings speak the wonder of possibility and promise flowing from a simple choice.
Issac Knight's fame grew out of his choice to help Al Black (one of the original Highwaymen) sell paintings for Alfred Hair (another original Highwaymen artist) on Saturdays in the late 1950s. When selling days ended early, he taught himself while contributing to the painting efforts of his fellow artists. Concerned with perfection of technique and possessing a propensity for visualizing the work, we can see in the Issac Knight paintings as his ability to paint quickly distinguished his art.
From each venture, Issac Knight paintings developed their own special subjects. Ocean scenes with setting sun emerged on canvas or upson board (cheap, but most common material of Highwaymen artists), vivid images exploding. Gradually, each landscape grew more unique, with techniques whispering outside the boundaries of the "learned".
Knight used every spare inch of his car porch and yard, painting on weekends and in his spare time. He dubbed his work domain "The Place" and fellow Highwaymen artists would join him there to paint, sharing laughter.
Interest in Issac Knight paintings somewhat waned in the 70's but his passion for the creative work developed deeper resolve. In the 90's, interest renewed when Jim Fitch and Gary Monroe, both art experts, hit the press with a profound regard for the authenticity and flair of these rich landscapes.
The bond with local artists, the spirit to jump in and give, permeates Issac Knight paintings. Knight's work tells the world that a weekend venture can evolve into a historical beacon of hope and distinction