Web gallery of
fine art paintings by Southern California artist, painter, illustrator Greg High.
Includes portrait paintings, landscapes, abstracts, figure drawings, surrealism, masters caricature, and much more ...
F I N E A R T P A I N T I N G S b y G R E G H I G H
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Copyright © GREG HIGH 1999
H E L P N A V I G A T I N G T H I S S I T E
Welcome to the Fine Art of Greg High, a web gallery of fine art paintings by artist painter illustrator Greg High. As you may realize by now, I am an artist, specifically a fine art painter. My fine art paintings include figurative representational portraits and landscapes, abstract and surreal paintings, figure drawings, mixed media artworks, experimental color compositions and quick studies, caricatures of art history masterworks, and much more ...
The following is a discussion of how to get around this site and what the navigation bars do.
At the very top of this Home page is a synopsis of this website. Below the description of my web art gallery is a sample of my whimsical surrealistic style ... a portrait of my Best Buddy (Carmichael the Cat). Below this grabby graphic introduction to my work is a spectrum of rainbow color navigation bar with six individual buttons. Click on a button and it will take you away to the separate rooms of my web gallery. These separate areas showcase artwork with like themes much like the halls of a museum. This navigation bar is repeated throughout my online art gallery; use it to conveniently and quickly browse the various styles, techniques and genres of my paintings and drawings.
The first magenta button Current Works will take you to the gallery of my most recent art work. This exhibit will update periodically as I create new paintings. It may include a variety of artworks since I often dabble with divergent subject matter as the mood strikes. To me art is a life adventure; a record of exploration and discovery; a witness to the creative spirit as it moves the artist. And so, I go where the art is without concern for the final destination. It is the doing, the journey and the magic that happens along the way which is most important to this artist.
The second red button The Masters is a doorway to the past and a unique gallery of images you may find strangely familiar. In 1996 I began a series of paintings based on the age old practice of learning from the masters. Not one to slavishly copy anything, I rather use the master painters of art history as inspiration for my own warped versions of their famous paintings. The lessons learned were as varied as the artists studied: Picasso, Rembrandt, Matisse, Vermeer, Cezanne, Velazquez, Manet, Rubens, Renoir, Eakins, Van Gogh, Delacroix, Magritte, Gorky, Henri on and on... To date, approximately one hundred and fifty paintings are in this series and I revisit the subject when plagued with painter's block. While studying the masters' use of color, composition, brushwork, etc. I realized I was unconsciously developing an original expression that animates these familiar artworks with my own self-portraiture. I really have fun doing these paintings and it is a great way to study art and develop.
The third orange button Portraits carries you to examples of my traditional portraits, some caricaturized portraits and even a sample of pet portraiture. Portraits are a favorite subject. A portrait painting when done well will include a reasonable likeness of the subject, a sense of the sitter's character and the painting will be imbued with a life of its own. Even though portraits, faces, people are the most accessible subject for an art viewing audience, good, really excellent portraits are difficult to paint. I have a profound respect for great portrait painters like Velazquez, Ingres, Holbein, Reynolds and Sargent. Many of the greatest artworks of art history are portraits; consider, the Rembrandt self-portraits, Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Whistler's Mother, just to name a few.
The fourth yellow button Landscapes is the trailhead to my artist's tribute to the High Sierra mountains. Currently my landscapes are specific scenes from the Sierra Nevada range. Being a backpack trekker and camping enthusiast, I am continually inspired by these magnificent mountains. With these landscape paintings I try to capture the magic and moods of the mountains, passes, trails, lakes, meadows, rocks, creeks, the seasons, sun and snow and sky of this exquisite alpine wilderness. If you have never been to the mountains perhaps these paintings will give you an idea of what you are missing, if you have been perhaps you will reminisce and experience fond memories. Most of my landscape paintings are now available as high quality prints and specialty cards priced so everyone can own a piece of the Sierra.
The fifth cyan button Abstracts will take you to my gallery of non-representational and semi-representational abstract sometimes conceptual or geometric paintings and mixed media works. I appreciate the concept "art for art sake" by which art investigates itself and the plastics of creativity without a recognizable image as visual crutch. Although the majority of my art is literal or figurative where the elements of line, form and color are less prominent, obscured by the recognizable image, now and then I take the purist's approach to art making. I think there is room for both in my portfolio. What do you think?
The sixth blue button Other Works transports you to my gallery of other art investigations which may include whimsical surrealism and other abstract conceptual pieces, figure drawings, sketches, utilitarian art, constructions, found art, field painting, minimalism, expressionism, arcism, super or photo-realism, op-art, pop art, fantasy works, whatever ... not that I subscribe to art labels or particular movements. The art is what is important. "The function of art is to clarify, intensify or otherwise enlarge our experience of life."
Below the rainbow buttons is another text navigation bar. Use these links to find out more about the artist and his work. This navigation bar is repeated regularly throughout the website before, after and between sections.
Home, of course, brings you back to the top of this page where you can goto any other place in the web gallery.
Statement is a brief, albeit inadequate artist's prosaic expression of the meaning of art. I hope my philosophy and life permeate all my artwork and speak to the heart and mind. Alas, I only partially control the expression of my work and not at all control the interpretation nor can I imbued my art with any more meaning and relevance than what you the viewer has to give it.
Links is the place where you can hot link to my other art sites; as well as, connect to some of my favorite world famous and justly popular world wide web galleries and museums.
Finally, at the end of this text navigation bar is an Email link so you can contact me should you wish to purchase a painting, or give me a critique, or get more information, or just say howdy. I appreciate you taking the time to visit my site and I would very much like to hear from you, so by all means drop me an email.
Thanks for browsing my web gallery of fine art paintings. I hope it was enjoyable and inspirational. Do come back ... and spread the word.
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A R T I S T ' S S T A T E M E N T
"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."
Now that a new millennium has begun, one might think that the art of painting is an archaic exercise ... after all it was invented by prehistoric man. In this era of computers and multimedia how can this ancient form of expression still have relevance? The answer lies in the special nature of painting. Painting is expressive and immediate; computer technology provides the artist with new fangled tools and allows for expressions here-to-fore never realized but painting is hands on and very much still on a human scale and prone to Divine intervention. Are there ever any happy accidents on a computer?
The primary challenge of the next millennium will be to retain our humanity in the face of ever evolving technology. In our lifetimes, computers will take on more and more of the responsibilities of everyday existence. We can use our new found freedom to become more like our quick but simple servants or we can challenge ourselves with greater introspection of the human soul. Humankind is a budding adolescent infatuated with technology but eventually we will have to grow up to appreciate what is important. Yes, I love computers for the freedom they provide, and I love painting for the enlightenment it is.
I get inspiration for my painting from many sources but primarily natural phenomenon such as people, animals, plants, mountains, etc. I consider myself a colorist; I work with form and composition to develop my own aesthetic. I appreciate the expression and pure creativity of abstraction but I prefer to work these elements (plastics of art) into a recognizable image.
"Secret number 50 is this: that when you have learned to draw and paint without mistakes, when you know how to distinguish the sympathies and antipathies of natural things with your own eyes, when you have become a master in the art of washing and when by your own resources you are able to draw an ant with the reflections corresponding to each one of its minute legs, when you know how to practice habitually your slumber with a key and the so hypnotic one of the three perch eyes, when you have become a master in the resurrection of the lost images of your adolescence, thanks to the natural magic of the retrospective use of your araneariums, when you have possessed the mystery and the most hidden virtues belonging to each of the colors and their relations to one another, when you have become a master in blending, when your science of drawing and perspective has attained the plenitude of that of the masters of the Renaissance , when your pictures are painted with the golden wasp media which were then as yet unknown, when you know how to handle your golden section and your mathematical aspirations with the very lightness of your thought, and when you possess the most complete collection of the most unique curves, thanks to the Dalinian method of their instantaneous molding in dazzlingly white and perfect pentagons of plaster etc. etc. etc., nothing of all this will yet be of much avail! For the last secret of this book is that before all else it is absolutely necessary that at the moment when you sit down before your easel to paint your picture, your painter's hand be guided by an angel" - Salvador Dali
Art is a magic bean and I believe it should be accessible to everyone. Everyone should practice and appreciate art for their own sake. Art distinguishes us from the beast and reminds us of our Divinity. I create; thereby I am.
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