Introducing Artist No. 26 – David Castle

I love the way all of our artists come to their profession in very unique ways. David Castle shares some of his journey. “My early grade school years were spent in a Denver suburb long enough ago that students had ample access to art and music classes, so my interest began quite early. I even have a piece of my 3rd grade art hanging in my studio and get comments on it from visitors!

“My family left the city for a southern farm when I was still in grade school – so began years of working hard with my hands to build, repair, grow and harvest. I believe this experience instilled a need to continue working with my hands into my adult years, so making art was a ‘softer’ and more ‘gentle’ way of keeping my hands going after the farm experience was left behind. I’m also inspired – and motivated – by the process of making art itself. So, I feed a need within to make things by constantly experimenting and painting. I do this for myself and will surely make more art in my lifetime than I could possibly share with the world.”

David is currently working on a series of Pacific Rains paintings, inspired by the rains and coast of the Pacific Northwest and, particularly, the northern Oregon coast. “I often work from photographs I’ve taken over the years of coastal areas and still have much work to do as I explore this vast source of inspiration. I’m also honing my skills and perfecting my method of mixing oil paints and metallic watercolors successfully. But I have more experimenting to do to get the results I’m looking for, so work on this continues.”

If you visit his studio during this fall’s Portland open Studios tour, David will introduce you to the unique process of mixing oil and metallic watercolors that he developed for his abstractions. “I’ll also be describing my various sources of inspiration, such as the Oregon coast, and how I use these sources to envision, and then paint, my unique abstractions.”

Being an artist is technically David’s second career. “My first love and career was technology and I worked in that arena for nearly 15 years before my interest in keeping up faded. Finally, I was laid off from my last corporate job and took a year off to decide what to do next. During this time I tried my artwork out at a few local art festivals and got immediate, positive feedback… so began my second career as a full-time artist – partly motivated by the desire to NOT go back into the corporate world of technology. The experience of making art, getting feedback from people on that art, selling art, winning awards – all keeps me going in this second career of mine.”

David paints abstractions infused with unexpectedly rich and vivid colors. His art is inspired by the variety of mountain and urban terrain he has explored throughout his extensive travels in North America and his years of living, working and traveling throughout Europe during his former career as a computer scientist. He draws from his exposure to the colors and shapes of these very different places as he combines paper, brush, oil and water, color, air, surface tension and gravity to create each painting.

David also has a unique art background. “I’ve learned from various artists over the years and spent countless hours experimenting in my studio to develop my own vision and style. My first ‘real’ art class was in Brussels, Belgium where I lived and worked as a computer consultant in the early 1990’s. There was an artist who held weekend art classes in her studio in the building where I lived, so I decided to take one. The artist spoke only a little English (and I spoke only a little French), so it was a true introduction to art and painting, as we mainly made art instead of talking a lot. Since that class, I’ve taken many art classes from admired artists over the years – mainly to expand my experimental nature and technique inventory.”

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