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Sean Gray

Sean Gray




My first oil painting was at 10 years old, and I have been creating art ever since. Born in Denver, Colorado - USA, I have a Fine Art degree from Cornell College. I have sold work in galleries and festivals, and have done commissions for individuals and corporations, alike. Although my media is not exclusively oil paints – I have done work with acrylic paints, collage, digital, and music in addition to oils – art has been a mainstay and has truly been a gift to me. It has provided challenge, purpose, and utter joy in my life. My goal is to share this gift with people through the works that I create.
My identity as an artist began early. I grew up surrounded by painting. One of my early memories was going with my mom to take oil painting classes. A woman taught a group of ladies painting techniques, color theory, and best practices of painting from her home. They sipped tea and chatted together, while creating beautiful works of art. I was enthralled and started painting with my mom at age 10. Another memorable encounter with art as a young child was when our family visited family friends, one of whom was a painter. Every visit he painted with me, and I brought home interesting abstracts from those trips. In college I jumped in fully – taking many diverse courses from sculpture, to painting, to collage, and an introduction to computer art. I tried as many art forms as I could, both in and out of class. I loved conceptual art as well as retinal art.
Being an artist has always been a natural fit for me. My mind is always teeming with ideas. The evolution of my artistry has been anywhere from abstract to realism. Abstract deals with me using the fundamental elements of art (line, shape, color, texture, etc.), and utilizing them for their own sake, without trying to refine them to fit in our representative world. I love expressing myself with a line, a certain color combination, or texture to represent a memory, feeling, or thought. With Realism I want to tell a story, while subtly leaving the viewer to derive the context from the setting of the image, or the actions being depicted, in order to make their own understanding.
Beautiful aesthetics or thought-provoking images of one’s surrounding can engage a memory, invoke a feeling, reinforce beliefs or thoughts held dear and even inspire us. I am fortunate to have concentrated my training on a breadth of art from realism to abstract. With this skill set, I create a diverse and eclectic set of work – hopefully so that people of different tastes will find something that speaks to them.
I believe art is not a luxury, but an essential. We all want our surroundings to feel comfortable to us and grounding for our soul. This is not something I merely like to do. It is something I must do. It is an integral part of who I am.

In the suspended year that was 2020, many people around the globe found themselves reckoning with an issue they had been ignoring for years: their own natures. The slow year provided an opportunity for reflection, resulting in many different types of Coming Out. Many people found the year interminable with no movies, no bars, no social gatherings … in short, no distractions. Other people found the year a relief with no movies, no bars, no social gatherings … no distractions.
Sean was part of the second group. For years now, he has noticed a slow shift in the sensibility of our culture. He believes that Cynicism is waning, and Sincerity is moving to the fore. A move toward progress and inclusive reconstruction is underway. This slowing has broken many out of the old day-to-day patterns which have intensified and accelerated this cultural structure of feeling. He believes that this pandemic has been a time for reflection, and a turn toward self, family, and social issues. Things that were taken for granted are now being seen in new light.
Sean found himself with time to reflect on how this period, of coming-out into sincerity and away from cynicism, has affected him personally. He has been able to tap into his subconscious and express his transient thoughts of nature into abstract worlds. One can get lost in these new worlds with dark, cliff-like planes, spiney grass-like structures, and textural seas of grey. Some structures look familiar – look again and then see something different, mirages within mirages.
Far from feeling isolated when he was away from people, Sean developed a contemplative practice when he was in nature – whether in his backyard, the botanical garden, or a hiking trail. A time to consider serious questions and renew his curiosity. He found that his frenetic compulsion to create became more focused, as did his potential path forward. He found the mental space to consider whether society was expressing sincere concern for the “other”. He considered past periods when he was most happy and most at peace with himself. He has always felt a deep appreciation for nature – and living at the foothills of a mountain range, he had lots of opportunities to be in nature … but he came to understand directly how much peace nature brought him.
He found himself coming out of the shadow of what perceptions others may have of him and his art, and embrace his sincere, authentic self.


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