Details About Greg and Essays on Art

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Greg outside the crowded house studio, August 2008.

Who is Greg Gillespie and what is his art about?

Read on to find out some of the answers.

Artist since an early age

Ever since recalling the buzz of doing his first drawing that drew critical acclaim, artist Greg Gillespie has been creating images of beauty and meaning for the world to enjoy.

Even though that first moment of praise was at age five and the critics where his parents, Jim and Betty (artists in their own right)after seeing a cartoon he had drawn of the Flintstones character 'Rock Sullivan', Greg learned that good art produced good reactions.

His first award came 3 years later when he entered a local schools competition for Health Week.

Such was his confidence in his art, that upon returning from a family holiday, Greg's first thought was to rush to the letterbox to see if there was any notice of him winning the competition.

Greg came second and earned himself $15 for his efforts.

After many amateur art competition successes, Greg decided that the career of commerical artist seemed like the right path to choose. So after completing high school, he went on to qualify for the prestigeous Randwick Tafe College Graphic Design course.

Completing his studies 2 years later, Greg began freelancing as an advertising illustrator, specialising in airbrush art. Gaining high acclaim for his award winning illustrations, Greg continued to create works that remained in high demand throughout the 1980's and early 1990's.

As change swept through the advertising industry Greg tried his hand at various other ideas and inventions that brought about moderate success to outright failure over the next 10 years.

Mastering whatever he put his hand to, Greg has enjoyed the diverse fields of web design, 3D animation and web application development.

Along the way of his commercial art career Greg had various spouts of enthusiasm in fine art, and the early 1990's were a particular highlight where he studied portraiture at the Royal Art Society in Kirrabilli Sydney.

Enter 2008 and renewed passion for fine surfaces as Greg begins painting portraits of pets and then one day in July of the same year, the inspiration hit for his current body work, the mindscape was born.


Mindscape - A Matter of Perspective

It has been said that one's art has arrived when the burden to create it is overcome by the passion and pleasure to create it.

Simply put, when art is difficult, forced or contrived to the point of labour, it is probably something the artist will not continue to do. But where enjoyment and repeat journeys of delight keep on feeding you when long since the paint has dried, you know this is something that you can do in an almost endless fashion.

At least this is my recent discovery in the wonderful world of abstract painting. When the literal has been deconstructed to the point that only shapes of colour, tone and spatial relationships remain, the artist is truly intertwined with the viewer in a way of partnership that a painting of realistic proportions can never achieve.

It is almost as if the guide of this journey is something that holds itself in the back of ones mind at a truly subconscious level, that doesn't appear to make any rational sense at the time you are creating your work.

It is kind of like, "I know what I like when I see it, although I can't dictate it". Or, "I am not sure where this painting came from, but I can tell you I was there at the time it was created".

Beauty in art is more or less universal despite the differences in taste and other values that come into play. There seems to be a commmon gene of appreaciation that bond the artist, the viewer and the art that is qualifible by it's very existence. This in itself is an abstract notion.

Beauty is made more beautiful by the contast of the beast. Without darkness, we never really know how bright is light. Along with the sheer fact of life that it seems easier to create a mistake, rather than a masterpiece, the appearance of the beautiful is a welcomed sight that cannot be easily dismissed.

One of the problems with abstract expressionism seems to lie in its deceptive appeal and easy access. The just do anything and call it art, deludes many and leaves the onlooker bewildered. But this comes back to a matter of opinion, doesn't it.

To the individual in such a state of joy over their creation, there forms the thought that perhaps none others will share the same point of view or level of empathy. Is what I like a rule strong enough to uphold my artistic endeavours? A great weight of enjoyment bubbles up and lifts the artist to want to repeat the whole process, again and again. This is the joy of the artistic moment, that leaves us feeling like children again.

Albert Einstein once said that "Imagination is more important than knowlege". It is still important to gain knowledge but what one does with it in an imaginative way is the key to creative problem solving.

Abstract expressionism is very appealing to ones imagination. In a sense we see what is already inside of us.

Some of our deepest thoughts can be found when we look into a great work of abstraction. Abstrat art engages ones mind or is in itself a mindscape for internal observation.

The reason that we see such an interest in this art form in our modern times lies in the universal appeal of looking inside of ourselves to find meaning and solutions to our problems. Such achievements are not easily accomplished by other forms of art that tie themselves in the structured and real. But then again I guess it is a matter of perspective, really.