Gregory Deane Biography


Gregory Deane Art

Gregory Deane

is the quintessential West Coast artist. He was born in Oregon and moved to California as a teenager. Even as a child he was fascinated with color arrangements and textures, and excelled at art from an early age, beginning with portraits and character studies. Design school later attracted him to San Francisco, and he began his working life in the design field. All the while he painted, selling his paintings to clients who would buy them.

Shortly after he married his wife Margo, Deane's design work began to take a back seat to his art, and 26 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."

The Studio

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.

The Gallery

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.

In 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.