It is a great honor to be included in the 2021 AQUA art exhibit.

2020 seemed like a good year to reconnect with creating art. Over the past 20 years my digital design work has mostly overshadowed all my other creative work. Even though much of my illustration work is created by ink & pen. I typically take my drawings and digitize and enhance them. The end result is a combination of different mediums.

Returning back to painting came from a need to distance myself from my computer. To step away from the screen. To use my hands and eyes differently. Knowing myself, I began with scheduling 2-hours every Sunday for creative time. Draw, paint, or doodle for a few hours without distractions. The absence of distractions is the most important element of being creative. Making a space that has the correct supplies and the time to-be-at-one with the process. And making do. Yes, the final part about being creative is getting out of your own way and making do. Use what supplies you have and just start creating.

I am always drawing doodles. Circles, squares, step-ladders, embellished typography, oddly shaped people, and more circles.

With two pieces Masked (2020) and Red Robe (2020).

Masked (2020) painting began as a doodle. I really was not thinking. Just drawing and creating shapes. I certainly didn’t begin to do a painting of a person with a mask. The eyes formed. Then the  mask just kinda manifested on the surface. At first, I didn’t recognize or identify the mask. It had begun with lines forming – then it took on the mask form and I understood it better. I guess I was having some subconscious conflict between wearing a mask and not wearing a mask.With the sudden adoption of masks as part of modern culture. 

Masked (2020) – by Gary Crossey

Red Robe (2020 acrylics) by Gary Crossey

Red Robe (2020) painted over the course of a few weeks (mostly on Sunday afternoon). The painting took a few different directions before settling for this simple fictional portrait. I am starting to feel more comfortable with painting. I felt connected with the painting. Each week I really had a need to layer more paint on the canvas. At times, I still feel that the painting wants more work to be done. It may not be finished.