June Artists Profile: David Grossmann. Scroll down!
From the Studio
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Still mourning the loss of all the buds on my Iris this spring due to two snow storms.
But just as I write this on May 23rd ….we see one purple bud down near the ground on one of the Iris!
This is a piece from last year that was done on my patio but didn’t feel right so I
worked on it in the studio this past month and it is starting to feel better!
2016 Iris 16x12 Oil After
2016 Iris Before
Fifty Shades of Green
May 1st to June 30th, 2017
©Golf Series 3 ©Golf Series 7 ©Golf Series 10
To purchase these paintings, contact:
Denver, CO 80222
Hours: Tue-Fri 10-5:30, Sat 10-5
We first met David when we awarded him the Allen Award at the PAAC Show in 2011 at Saks Galleries. We could see that this young man was going places! You couldn’t miss him….he stood way above the crowd in more ways than one! We just knew that he was going to make his mark on the art world. And six short years later………..he is! We’re so proud of you David!
Art has always been an important part of my life. My first lessons as a young artist came from my mother and grandmother. I love to draw, and growing up I would spend several hours every day drawing. Somewhere along the way I decided that working as an artist would be my ideal career, so the pursuit of that dream has formed much of the trajectory of my life ever since I was a child.
My first oil painting was of a horse. I was ten years old and I painted it with the help of my very patient grandmother. At the time I was obsessed with horses. I drew them over and over, I loved books about them, and I would painstakingly save up money to buy plastic horse figurines. Not long after I painted that first horse, I rode a horse and fell off. This put quite a damper on my horse frenzy.
Running at Dawn, 40×30 inches, oil on linen panel
2016: I was able to experience a bit of my old love of horses once again when I was invited to paint for a few days in Lexington, Kentucky. The world’s largest seller of thoroughbred racehorses, Keeneland, has an artist’s cabin on their grounds, and during my stay there I was able to observe horses training against beautiful backdrops of rolling emerald hills. Every morning I would rise early to watch the jockeys and horses make their laps around the racetrack, beginning with the first whisper of light before dawn.
I studied with Jay Moore after I went to the Colorado Academy of Art, which is no longer in existence. The academy was modeled after the European atelier method of training, which was great for learning technique. The curriculum was mostly centered around portraiture, but it also included painting landscapes from life. From my first Plein air session, I was hooked.
Plein Air with PAAC Taos 2012 En Plein Air Autumn 2016
"Garden Daffodils," 7x12 inches, oil on linen panel, Plein Air. available through my studio
Spring comes hesitantly to Colorado. Winter reappears unexpectedly, and for a while the seasons stammer back and forth between warm sun and thick snow. The daffodils in the painting shown here are from my parents’ garden. Just after I finished the painting, a few snowflakes began to fall, and soon a late snow storm buried the flowers in one of winter’s short-lived recoveries.
However, the academy did not teach anything practical in terms of navigating the art market and making a living as a professional artist.
• What was the best advice you ever got?
Studying with Jay was like professional artist boot camp, which was just what I needed to point me in the right direction. His belief in me as an artist was what gave me the confidence to keep going, and his best advice for me was to keep my day job for a while so that I could really focus on developing my art without the pressures of marketing and sales.
My studio paintings are a long, meditative process, whereas the small studies I paint on location are much more spontaneous. When I paint on location, one of my main objectives is to connect with the place I am painting. It is such a gift to be able to stand in one spot for a few hours and to really observe my surroundings, to watch the changes in light and weather and in my own emotions. There is a consuming intensity to it, which can be very inspiring or very frustrating. The frustrations usually come from dealing with rain and wind and numb fingers in the winter and swarming insects and heat in the summer. But some of the most rewarding paintings come from being outdoors in difficult conditions, like capturing the first rays of a sunrise or painting snow on cold winter days. Having the right gear for this is essential, so I bought a pair of snow boots that were designed for polar expeditions. They are rated up to negative 148 degrees Fahrenheit, so now I can stand in the snow for hours while I paint and my feet stay warm.
I have also been experimenting with painting night scenes on location, so my dad invented a portable LED light so I can see the colors I am mixing without interfering too much with my night vision.
"Three Birds on Woven Sky," 20x34 inches, oil on linen panel
Contact Maxwell Alexander Gallery to inquire about this painting: 310.839.9242
Lately birds have become a fascination to me. They must be the wisest and most mysterious of creatures, yet they are so fragile. And they fly and they sing, so I am overcome.
"Robin and Blue Sky Patterns," 34x20 inches, oil on linen panel, available through Altamira Fine Art
Compared to painting outdoors, painting in my studio is a much more meditative and long process. In my studio I surround myself with the studies I have painted on location, and I use these as starting points to design my larger compositions. Sometimes my studio paintings are inspired by specific places, yet they are always a combination of memory, reality, and imagination. Before I begin painting, I use pencils and paper to sketch several variations of the composition that I have in mind. Then I will place these sketches around my studio so that I can ponder them for days or weeks and make any necessary changes. Then I will transfer the composition onto a toned panel and set this aside for a while in the same way that I do for my sketches, pondering and making any needed changes. Once I feel confident about the direction I am heading, I begin the actual painting process. I love experimenting with surface textures and building interesting transitions of colors, so I do an extensive amount of layering on each painting. Since oil paints dry slowly, I always have several paintings in progress in my studio at any given time; I work on one, then set it aside to dry for a few days while I work on others. It takes several weeks or several months of this layering, back and forth process before a painting is finished.
"When All the Leaves Have Fallen," 30x50 inches, oil on linen panel, available through Altamira Fine Art
Much of that idea has to do with simplifying, paring down an image to its essence so as to best convey emotion and to allow viewers to step into it with their imaginations unfurled. A beautifully, thoughtfully composed poem carries depth and life in ways that abundantly descriptive prose cannot; we are built to love elements of mystery that draw us beyond what we can see or describe. Brevity often allows the space that our imaginations need in order to step in and engage.
"Sea and Reflected Sun," 18x24 inches, oil on linen panel, available through Altamira Fine Art
When I am painting in my studio, I sometimes work in silence, and other times I listen to classical music, audiobooks, or podcasts, depending on what will help me to stay focused and find inspiration.
I do love poetry, and reading in general. Robert Frost is my favorite. I keep a sporadic journal, and often I will write thoughts to accompany my paintings.
Making the panels that I paint on is very time consuming, so now I hire my dad to make them for me. He also makes my frames, which my mother guilds by hand with 23 karat gold leaf. My parents have always been supportive of my art, and when they sold their business a few years ago, I started hiring them to make my panels, do my framing, shipping, bookkeeping, and other tasks that were taking up large amounts of time and keeping me away from painting.
My awards through PAAC, including the Allen Awards, and the Coors show have been very encouraging. It is always helpful to have reminders that my work is resonating with other people.
2011 PAAC Show-Allen Award
2015 PAAC Show-Allen Award
"Trees and Snow Spaces," 8x10 inches, oil on linen panel, available through my studio
I paint a lot, and every painting is an experiment. I am thankful to be in a line of work that allows me to freely change, challenge myself and try new ideas.
· Do you have any Group affiliations? (OPA?) Do you feel they are necessary? Or do your galleries do your marketing?
My galleries do most of my marketing these days. I used to have several group affiliations, which were helpful at the time.
"Decorated Trees and Autumn Carpet," 10x8 inches, oil on linen panel, available through my studio
· Who currently shows your work?
Altamira Fine Art, Jackson, WY and Scottsdale, AZ
Gallery 1261, Denver, CO
Jonathan Cooper Gallery, London, England
Oh Be Joyful Gallery, Crested Butte, CO
Simpson Gallagher Gallery, Cody, WY
I am really excited about my upcoming solo show with Altamira Fine Art in Jackson, WY. It will be July 17 through 29, with an artist reception during the art walk on July 20. The area around Jackson is so beautiful and always brimming with new inspirations, so the show will feature several works inspired by the Tetons, as well as a combination of other inspirations and more experimental pieces.
I am also working on paintings for the Quest for the West show at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis in September. It is an honor to be included in such a high caliber event.
Another project that I am really happy about is my solo show in June of next year (2018) with the Jonathan Cooper Gallery in London, which will be my first international solo show.
Give some hard thought to your work ethic, set goals, and find mentors. And fight to stay encouraged and inspired.
I love running. I run almost every day, and in the past few years I have run several marathons and half marathons.
I got married on June 3rd. My wife, Kristy, is the most creative person I know. She can make anything...she paints, writes, bakes, sews, embroiders, and is a never-ending source of beautiful ideas. We are in the process of moving to Grand Junction and starting our lives there together. As for my work, I plan to keep painting a lot, and to keep experimenting as new inspirations come.
David and Kristy