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  • Writer's pictureX Rodriguez

Greg "Craola" Simkins Art Exhibit - Discussion on Painting, Technique and Discipline

· This past week I left to Los Angeles to visit friends, family and get some painting in. I decided to go down the street from the old stomping grounds of West Hollywood towards the Merry Karnowsky Gallery to view the ever amazing art by Greg Simkins, aka Craola. Standing

around the gallery and observing the ambience of the room was truly like being in a Wonderland of awe. Located at the intersection of 2nd St & La Brea, you will find this collection open to the public between the hours of 10am-6pm. Oh, and it’s FREE! The great thing about this exhibit is it shows everyone the possibilities of what is possible when putting the brush to board, As a fellow enthusiast and artist that uses Trekell Art Supplies as well as one of their Pro-Team Artists. I wanted to view what I aspire to be as well as just admire in general.

This exhibit was very important to me because I honestly had to view these masterpieces in person but even more because of the imperfections that we look past. I had learned when I started to paint that it was about being perfect and tedious, always trying to push further than the others. Now that I have been painting for about two years, I have learned from other artists that there are two sides of the pieces, just as there are with people.

When we see an amazing artist that we admire and swoon over, like I do, we see their work and see the grand picture of what is presented, and everything appears perfectly in place. It seems as though nothing of this caliber would be done by someone who is “normal” or lives a life like the rest of us: drinks coffee, hangs out, takes breaks, or lives a life that doesn’t involve 24/7 paint, paint, paint. However, thats where the other side of the coin for these artists and their painting comes into view. Its the imperfections, as I have come to know them over the past year, that are what make art the great thing it truly is.

I personally criticize myself for being lazy on some days between my work, running the BrushesofDoom buisness, and trying to keep up on my studies. I paint and try to aim for the mindset that even if you don’t see all of the fine detail, I know that I put it there for myself and my need to be detail oriented. Thinking, “If artists like Craola do this much painting and do so much, I should have no excuse," or, "They wouldn’t leave this part that undetailed" Blah blah blah blah blah....

But staring closely at these works of art, you realize that in person there are hundreds of imperfections, and small steps to add in detail where you would never notice unless you stood in front of the piece yourself.

That is the fine line: all artists are average Joe’s and Josie’s that live, eat, breath, and struggle as you and I do. So, when you stare at a piece in person like these, it humanizes not only the artist but the work itself. Realizing that everytime we try to fine tooth comb every little detail it still comes out how we expect it to. I like to think of it as a photographer with too many filters on a photograph, it becomes unatural and muddied when sometimes simple is just the plain answer. It helps us realize that we as artists have to remember that the notion that everything has to be perfect or to the tee is not always the point. The last few paintings I have done have been a quicker process because of my approach to it entierly. If I wanted to do any fine detail I wanted to do it there and now, Now the looser I paint to get a firm grasp on the principles of the basics, the more rooted and grounded my piece becomes, because you can take it anywhere and can save the detail for later if necessary/possible.

So now to the point: we as artists have to understand that we are all human and everything we see and do, regardless of how you feel about it. Will never be perfect. Having discipline is a great way to help build yourself, your art, and your craft; however, admitting your humanity helps you realize that anything is possible and all we can do is our best to produce what makes us happy. Craola is an amazing artist that I admire greatly as an artist and a down-to-earth family man. A darker, yet more elegant, version of Disney artist Noah, so to speak. Whom both see to create pieces that, As a beginner seem impossible or as a novice/well rounded artist think, "how in the hell could I or that/ Its just that extra something they do". I myself have been asked many times what my “secrets” are, and what, in my opinion, drives any artist to do something unique; well, here’s my answer:

I myself never know what I am doing, I just know I can do it. Meeting many different hobby, semi-professional, and professional artists has taught me something very important. It has taught me that, at the end of the day, we all have the same issues as other people, we justt have a different drive and mindset. Strive to better yourself and those around you with your art, and realize that you have the abliity to look up at a masterpiece and are capable of amazing artwork such as Craola’s when you apply yourself. Failure is a friend as well as game changer. Never, ever, underestimate yourself or your craft.

I highly recommend going to this amazing exhibit and see the incredible artwork of the man Craola. For More Info on Craola, the Gallery or His line of paints and brushes pleaes click the links below! Greg "Craola" Simkins: Trekell Art Supply:

Merry Karnowsky Gallery:

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