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Meet Steve Griggs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Griggs.

Hi Steve, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always loved painting. I started painting as a child and painted and drew often. In college, I tried out a lot of majors. I didn’t consider an art major until a classmate saw me drawing and suggested I check out the art department. When I changed my major to Studio Art, I knew I’d found my ‘home.’ After graduating with a BA, I applied to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, thinking I’d make a career in the design world. At the time, I didn’t think ‘artist’ was a viable career but ‘designer’ seemed to be. I worked in design for many years but my heart always longed to be a painter. I took classes at local community colleges and enrichment programs and painted in my free time while my wife, Sue, and I raised three kids. I kept developing my loose painting style and started entering my art into local shows. Eventually, I entered the state and national shows. After winning several awards and selling paintings, I started to seriously consider shifting my career away from design and into being a full-time fine artist. Finally, Sue and I decided to both leave our existing careers and form an art business. Although I shifted to full-time art later in life, we have been doing this for several years and it was the best decision I could have made.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
No road in life is ever smooth. The biggest struggle has been my own self-doubt and fear of failure. The beauty of doing this as a team is that when one person only sees obstacles, often the other one sees possibility. There have been dry spells when I don’t get into shows or sales are sluggish. Sometimes my paintings aren’t what I’d hoped they would be. True art comes from the soul. Showing that art to the world means showing your soul. Sometimes people don’t connect with an artist’s style and you have to learn not to take that personally. I find the world of art to have lots of ups and downs. Learning to stay the course has been challenging at times but I’ve discovered that by not responding to every ebb and flow, I am much happier and more content.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have a very loose style of watercolor painting. It is a style I have developed over time because I wanted to create art that makes people feel something. By keeping my work loose and fluid, my paintings have energy and movement. They evoke feelings. I don’t try to control my watercolor but instead, I try to work with the paint and water to make it do what I want, but also to allow it to do what it wants. That synergy creates exciting outcomes that just can’t happen when too much control is exerted.

I’ve had many collectors tell me that they continue to see new things in my paintings and that they often hang them in places where they see them regularly so the feelings the paintings evoke are always available. Maybe they hang them by a door and seeing the painting sets a tone for their day as they leave. Some say they hang them so they are the first thing they see when they come home. My paintings are hanging in homes and offices and restaurants and I know they are bringing something special to each place.

I also teach other artists to paint in my style. I’ve watched other artists’ confidence grow as they have studied under me, which is immensely satisfying.

What are your plans for the future?
I am always trying new techniques and working to improve my paintings. I spent some time in Europe last summer (Italy, Greece, Malta, and France) and I’m sorting through the literally thousands of reference photos I took. I’ll be starting a Europe series soon and I’m very excited to see what comes from that.

I’m also working on creating video lessons to teach my painting style to other artists.

Recently we partnered with a printer who is able to produce high-quality, archival Giclee prints of my work. I’m very excited to have those on my website and available for the collector who isn’t ready to purchase original art yet.

There is always something new to learn, try, and perfect. That’s why I love being a full-time artist!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Paul Miller – Photo with painting and cat

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