Emerging Artists | Justin Clements

Living the dream

Justin Clements, Colorado Farm Early Spring, oil, 18 x 24.

Justin Clements, Colorado Farm Early Spring, oil, 18 x 24.

This story was featured in the October 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Justin Clements likes to wake up early, grab his Canon camera, and drive up and down county roads, snapping pictures for potential paintings. Maybe it’s a row of pale, wispy aspens crowned with shimmering fall foliage or a red barn beside a dirt road. “Two shapes next to each other can be enough to build a whole painting on,” says Clements. “To me it doesn’t matter what I paint—it’s just composition and shape and color.” In June, Clements snapped up Best of Show at the Denver Arts Festival for his oil painting PINK GERANIUMS, and his summer schedule was booked to the brim with other art festivals and events—a testament to his determination. “Life is too short for half measures,” he says.

The Colorado native devoted several years to studying life drawing, sculpting, and oil painting, but when life called for a steady paycheck, he got a job as a technician with a local security company. The major turning point, says Clements, came when his wife was pregnant with their first child: “I had this realization that my life is happening, and if I’m going to do something with it, I’m going to have to do it.” So, in the evenings after work and family time, he’d head to his studio to “work and work and work.” For six years, he juggled two jobs: artist and technician. Then he started to pick up galleries and “had one really good year in 2014,” says Clements. That’s when he and his wife decided he was ready to dive into art full time.

These days, Clements is living his dream. If he’s not painting, chasing landscapes, or teaching workshops, chances are he’s thinking up new color schemes to explore in his lush still-life arrangements, which often feature peonies, daisies, and other flowers plucked from the greenhouse at his home in Fort Collins, CO. The artist admits it took some trial and error to grow a green thumb. “That’s really how I am about a lot of stuff,” he says. “If I want to do something, I just start trying. Make some mistakes, and I’ll figure it out.” —Kim Agricola

representation
Rich Timmons Fine Art Gallery, Doylestown, PA; Gallery 150, Salida, CO; Hunter-Wolff Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO; Old Town Art and Framery, Fort Collins, CO.

This story was featured in the October 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT