By Bonnie Gangelhoff
No one was more surprised than David Gray when his painting won the top honor at the western regional Oil Painters of America show in June. The 33-year-old Washington artist says he was merely hopeful that he might take away an honorable mention. “It was my first award in painting and I was really shocked,” he says. A largely self-taught artist, Gray paints still-life and figurative works. He relishes textures and colors in objects ranging from a knotty tree trunk to a multicolored tarnished silver teapot. “I am a very visual person and I get attracted to stuff other people don’t normally go crazy over,” Gray explains.
As a child he grew up loving picture books and images by Norman Rockwell. He has been drawing since his college days at Pacific Lutheran University, where he also studied ceramics, photography, and printmaking. His long-term goals for the future are just to please himself in his work, Gray says. “The more successful I am at making myself happy with my work, the more successful I will be in turning on my viewers.” Gray is represented by Howard Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, WA.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” November 2003