"I feel that never having formal art education, it wasn’t drummed into my head this is the way you have to. I approach each painting differently and like to blend colors on the canvas."
Tell us about yourself and background. I was born (12-24-1955) and raised in Baltimore Md. and have resided in the Laurel area for the last 20 years. At an early age I learned I could draw and was greatly influenced by the legendary comic book artist, Jack Kirby. I loved his double page spreads, which you can see in numerous of my fantasy paintings. When I discovered the grandfather of Fantasy art, Frank Frazetta, I had to learn to paint. I studied for 6 months in group sessions under a very talented female artist who taught me the basics of how to paint in oils. Tell us about your work. My work displays my incredible imagination and many of my fantasy paintings illustrate the manuscripts I have written (5 in all). Along with the fantasy art, last year I decided to start painting landscapes, seascapes and wildlife which enabled me to display my unique color application. I have honed my craft over the years and recently explored new boundaries in painting. I put no limits on myself or my abilities and proud to proclaim myself a true artist!
What makes your work and approach unique? I feel that never having formal art education, it wasn’t drummed into my head this is the way you have to. I approach each painting differently and like to blend colors on the canvas. My colors are like no one elses, colors that no one has seen before. My composition is strong and I create great distance even in a painting as small as 8X10. I do not do any preliminary sketches, I sketch in paint and have often changed my original concept for the painting. A painting I did of “Thor” began as 118X24 panel and grew into 6 panels and an 48X54 masterpiece. I have developed some techniques that are unique, like placing a piece of Plexiglas in front of a painting, then painting on the Plexiglas to create a 3D effect. Also I have matted paintings, then used the center piece to create doors that when opened reveal the painting within.
Why is your work a good investment? I believe my work is unique and I paint a lot from my imagination. Along with my manuscripts, 2 books of poetry and 3 screenplays, it is just a matter of time before someone realizes how talented I am.
Tell us about some of your achievements. I was runner up 2 years in a row in the Science/Fiction cover art contests. I have been part of group shows and have hosted solo shows on my own. I have written 3 screenplays, all have received recommends, placed in the quarter and semi finals of contests and even had an agent from Lionsgate Films read a horror screenplay and said it was a well written elaborate script that crossed genres like no one else.
What are your sources of inspiration? As mentioned earlier I was greatly influenced by Jack Kirby and Frank Fazetta. My writings inspire me, especially my favorite character Far-up-Fred; a 3 foot tall lovable fearless bodyguard always getting in trouble and in his mind he has never known defeat. Also I love music, listen whenever I paint and now my greatest inspiration comes from my biggest fan and the love of my life Lauren. If it wasn’t for her I might have stopped painting altogether.
What you are passionate about? I love being outside, I spend as much time at the swimming pool in the summer as I can. I am passionate about music, wanted to be a musician, I play the guitar. One of major goals is to share my Young/Adult books (2 complete novels with 4 others in various stages) about the adventures of Far-up-Fred in Tear Drop Land with the world.
Tell us about some projects you have delivered. I designed a CD cover for a local band, “Black Widow U.S.A.” They were my customers at Ledo Pizza Laurel, It was by chance I found out they were in a band and needed cover art. I wrote a young/adult children’s book, “The Adventures of Whiney Erin in Tear Drop Land” and also painted the cover. It was published years ago by a local company.
Share with us your upcoming projects. I continue to display my work at “Olive on Main in Laurel Md., “Ledo Pizza Laurel” and “Sullivan’s Steak and Beverage Restaurant.” I will have a solo show in October at “More than Java Cafe” and a solo show next June at Ranazul Restaurant. I will be part of group shows at the “Columbia Art Center” in October and “The Chesapeake Arts Center in November. All venues are in MD.
Tell us about where you are based. I am now based in Laurel Md. A wonderful city with many privately owned Mom and Pops shops and business and a Historic Main Street. I have enjoyed a pleasant living experience and a steady job in Laurel for the past 20 years and I am well known throughout the community. Website: jgadreau.artspan.com