He stared at the canvas and continued making light strokes with the brush. Artist Charles Clark Kiktode often enjoyed creating portraits and "Paul, Son of William, Son of Henry" in honor of his father, who was no different.

With an artist name meaning "speaks form the heart," Clark is a painter whose pieces often reflect his interpretation of social issues and situations.

"Most of my art work has been coined contemporary dystopian because I do paint a lot of events," Clark said.

He explained he also does surrealism, portraits and paints subjects in pop culture such as Taylor Swift.

As a child, Clark was introduced to art. However he didn't begin painting seriously until about six or seven years ago when he had to care for his father.

"(Painting) just kind of started out as something to keep myself occupied while taking care of Dad but...with each new painting you learn something new and how to do something new each time and I just got better at it and then I started wanting to have more art shows and now that (Dad) has passed away I'm going to fix my garage up to be a studio so I can work in there," he said.

Clark is a member of the Potawatomi Tribe and has worked full time at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation for over 17 years.

According to Clark, his art is also Native American Art because he is a member of a tribe and creates art even though his pieces aren't traditional.

"There are several other Native artists that have broken out of this 'genre' mold to pursue their own style but are still considered Indian (artists)," Clark said.

For Clark, the best aspect of painting is capturing a situation as a certain person sees it.

"I love that you're there for the moment. When you start painting something everything else just kind of disappears and it's just that passion you have when you're creating something and you're putting it down on a canvas," Clark said. "It's just something inside of you. It's in your blood as a matter fact it makes your blood turn into paint."

His passion does come with its challenges though as not everyone likes his pieces and nothing is every perfect.

"There's always room for improvement if you want to say that. I think too painting stuff that people like. Not everyone is going to like your art," Clark said.

Clark explained about a year ago he decided to start Ars Prima which is Latin for "first art."

"I wanted to create a club. This was just after my dad passed away and I just wanted to get out and meet other artists...," Clark said.

Clark said he wanted to go back to a time when artists in the area would get together and talk about their creations or exchange ideas.

There are about 15 or so artists who go to the monthly meetings at Benedict Street Market and the group overall is diverse with several different artists including photographers, woodworkers and sculptors.

"There's some people in this town that really want the arts to take off and it's not a one person effort it's everybody's effort and I think Ars Prima is not the answer but is something that helps the artists get together," Clark said.

The painter is hopeful Ars Prima will attract more artists and the club will have a bigger following.

"I think as we grow a little bit more and there's more art in this area I think we'll draw in more artists. It just takes a while for something like that to happen but it has helped several people in their quest to get some of their work out," he said.

In addition to the expansion of Ars Prima, Clark said he helps organize a seminar for Indian art students and is preparing to teach young artists the business of art.

Overall he's looking forward to selling more of his pieces and becoming more well known.

"I just want to be involved in the art community more and I want to expand my work for others to see," Clark said.