By Deva Moore
Gray, a very descriptive word. The word invokes a rather neutral color in one’s mind but Chris Gray is anything but neutral!!! His talent brings to life bright colors, lots of movement and so many emotions that the viewer feels alive with beauty and simplicity and complexity all at the same time!!! Chris has always been interested in the arts and began developing his own artistic endeavors at a young age drawing, sketching and coloring. His first interests were of drawing airplanes, animals and figures. He is forever fascinated with lines, relationship of lines, colors and spacing. Chris finds the use of space and its intricate relationship to distinction and colors creates a meaningful work of art that appeals to his viewers on many different planes and dimensions. Interpretation of his works have messages both obvious and subtle within the boundaries of his canvas.
Do not expect to look at one of Chris’ works and see exactly the same thing twice. It is ever shifting, finding a new message or picture to entertain and enlighten. Chris has had many mentors in his life. His family is artistic and many of them have encouraged him to pursue his artistic talent. He sought out formal training to learn techniques, study the masters and create a plan to succeed. He has called Boerne his home for the better part of 30 years. Leaving briefly a few times for schooling and other obligations but never staying away too long. Chris has attended higher education completing his basics at San Antonio College and then culminated in him receiving his BA from Corpus Christi Texas A & M. He has also acquired extensive hands on education from his across country trips photographing landscapes and wildlife for future art works. Chris uses these photos to influence new and exciting artwork. Chris does not currently operate a public studio but works in his current private home studio. He has future plans to open a public studio but for the moment his work can be seen at galleries both in Boerne and San Antonio. Carriage House Gallery in Boerne is at 110 Rosewood Ave #2314 Boerne, Tx. They can be reached at 830-248-1184. One can also reach the Carriage House at CarriagehouseGalleryTx.com or by email at info@ carriagehousegallerytx.com. Chris is also exhibited at the River Art Group Gallery at La Villita in San Antonio. Please visit one of these galleries to enjoy Chris’ work and maybe even find one or two to take home, they will make your home come alive or maybe a friend has a wall in their home that needs a bit of pop! Chris can be reached at 210-847-0447 at his website www.chrisgrayart.net @chrisgrayartist or by just calling the Carriage House Gallery.
Chris assures me that the world of artists are very supportive of one another and assist in any way they can help. Chris has been both the recipient and the giver in the art world. He has gained valuable insight and also given support where and when needed. He is not currently teaching classes but feels his contribution is encouraging others to find their art bliss and journey that makes them complete. Chris has been honored to have many of his college professors and others in the art world and beyond recognize his talent and encourage him to continue bringing his beauty to the world. He is thankful for all of his family and friends continued support.
Chris has a nice award portfolio and is especially proud of his Mixed Media Award from the Hill Country Invitational and the Fiesta Southwest School of Art Show award. His work exhibits well and mesmerizes an audience with the depth and intricacy of work.
There are many shows coming where one can peruse and purchase select works Chris offers. In November he will be exhibiting at the Las Aristas in El Paso and he has many more in the near future he has been invited to participate. Please watch his website for dates and locations. His art has been bought and is being enjoyed all over the United States and Chris shared that he is proud of all and a piece of his artistic self has gone to Las Vegas and California. The most unique place that he has art is in an Aquarium in Michigan! How cool!
Maybe we should cover some of his art, style, tools and talent. Chris is an artist who creates drawn art. Concise, precise, bold, subtle, magical, a journey within a journey art!!! The message is different for everyone and Chris told me that at times the message he gets is not the same one someone else may see. He feels that his work has a child- like quality that appeals to a broad audience and greets its viewers with a positive reaction. The beauty of Chris’ work is that it can take one into a world of its own and soothes the soul. Many of Chris’ pieces are influenced by the Pacific Northwest Native Americans, Mark Tobey and Mark Rothko. He finds Jackson Pollock and the works of Tobey as some of the most influential in their use of canvas space. He uses the elements of design for the basis of his work. As an artist, Chris finds nature, beaches and the outdoors makes him humble. The awesome world we live in is magnificent. From photographs and his creative mind Chris creates gorgeous art.
Chris employs the use of some fantastic tools in his creations. He uses special pencils and pens that create the crisp, clear lines that he requires. Chris starts by drawing lines and then the magic just follows as he fills in, connects and makes the story come alive. Pollock’s use of controlled emotion driven abstracts has enhanced Chris’ approach. While Pollock uses abstract Chris is more defined exemplary finding details to draw emotions to the surface. He uses bamboo brushes and precision inks to keep his work sharp and authentic. Chris utilizes color to break down emotions and define them. His use of design brings balance, line and color. Special tools include Graphic pens and micron pens due to their fast drying ability. Chris must have tools that keep their crisp lines and design and do not fade or smear. Longevity of his art is crucial!!! Archival inks and paper represent the quality and historical value he looks for in perpetuating his art!!! Yes, it lasts for an eternity. The paper or canvas is also of archival quality lending a permanent quality to a finished art piece for long lasting enjoyment without distortion. The paper quality is important to Chris and he ensures the integrity by not using scraps or folded or even marred paper but requires it to be clean and crisp as well! There are even specific papers such as Bristol paper or other smooth papers. Rough paper tend to distort the crisp lines that Chris requires in his art. Art lovers tend to gravitate to representational head or animal shapes or something they can relate to or recognize easily and then are extremely surprised to see the deeper message within the work.” Do not stay stationary but keep your eyes on the Journey.” Chris names his works after they are completed and not before he starts. He starts with a line and goes from there…he must understand the balance of the paper and his marks and lines as he goes.
He finds the rhythm of the work he is creating and beauty follows. Chris refers to his work as “Jazz on paper” and rightly so. The music he creates with his art is melodious and flowing for sure!!! His rhythm finds a quality that maintains balance in each piece. Chris designs first then fills in the color and “connects the dots” if you will!! Not literally but figuratively. The path of design is the quickest function while the colors that follow must support the balance. His work evolves as it goes and unfolds on the paper canvas exploding with bursts of the magic that is Chris Gray! His use of color, lines, designs, inks, washes and watercolors come together to bring his art alive. Chris is always striving to keep his art fresh and it is awakening, calming and satisfying all at the same time. Chris is always experimenting with new methods and techniques and is always seeking out further knowledge in the art world. He has plans to explore 3-d mediums, ceramic and sculpture. Chris does not teach classes at this time but his advice would be for one to find their own voice and stay true to it.
So the bottom “line” if you will is make a date with yourself to visit a gallery and my recommendation would be the Carriage house and being swept away by the art of Chris Gray and the other talented artists exhibited there. You deserve this break from the hustle and bustle to add some class to your life. Who knows some of the beautiful art just may find its way into your heart and soul and yes even your home!