after he married his wife Margo, Deane's design work began to take a
back seat to his art, and 36 years ago he decided to devote his full
attention to painting. Deane specializes in abstract and nonobjective
painting, where a brush stroke here or a rubbed or dabbed paint streak
there might suggest different things to different viewers.
With allusion and visual suggestion comes artistic meaning. "The emotion
in my work often comes from somewhere deep down, and can speak to the
inner part of each person," Deane believes. "I have certain things in my
mind when I create each piece, perhaps the emotion of joy or
tranquillity when I choose my colors, or perhaps the influence of the
Orient or an obscure European tradition when I layer in bits of paper or
gold leaf. This is new art, but tradition is frequently there too."
In the spirit of abstraction, though, the viewer is free to interpret
each piece as he or she wishes. "I've found," Deane says, "that a good
painting is one you can internalize, one in which a given element or the
work as a whole means something special to you - perhaps in ways you
might not admit to another person." This is how the artist's passion
reaches the viewer, through personal interpretation.
"My influences are many," Deane reports. "Paul Jenkins, for example; his
colors are magnificent - they flow and blend and give me a high-spirited
feeling." He also admires Robert Rauschenberg and Franz Kline. "The
poetry of life is my greatest influence, though," Deane says, and you
see it in the symphonic expression of his paintings.
Gregory Deane's expressionism has recently taken a turn toward mixed
media. "By including a photograph or words from a newspaper, bits of
tissue paper or whatever might be at hand," the artist reports, "I can
evoke a grounding feeling of place, whether it's an African jungle or a
Chinese market." Deane's new inspiration arises from recent travels to
China, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Italy.
Viewers have responded to this development in his work as
enthusiastically as they have to his previous artistic explorations. He
held his first solo abstract show in 1977 in Honolulu,and has since had
many showings of his critically acclaimed expressionist work, most
recently a one-man exhibition at the Accademia delle Arti del Designo in
Florence, Italy. Deane is the first American artist to be honored with a
show at the Accademia, which was founded by Michelangelo. Deane's work
is regularly featured in major galleries throughout the United States
and Europe, and appears in private collections around the world.
The artists work ranges from large to small - sixteen feet wide by ten
feet high, or three by five inches in size. The result can be a feeling
of being overwhelmed, or a silent moment of intimacy. Whatever the size,
color is carefully controlled, whether vibrant or monochromatic. Each of
Deane's paintings catches the imagination.
Ultimately, Gregory Deane's work reflects life. "Life has it's many
changes, as do the hands of the painter," he says. "Some artists choose
to paint the dark side of their existence, and that is their choice if
that is all they wish to see. I've chosen to try to paint many moods and
to evoke a feeling with my work - of joy, quiet reflection, excitement,
sobriety - so observers can create the feeling they wish to have. Each
viewer can make this art what he or she wants it to be.
Gregory Deane's art works are exhibited at the
Pearl Canyon Art Gallery in Carmel