by Sarah Spencer
Often using bright colors, bold palettes, and mixed media, Greg Creason brings images to life. “When [an image] captures my eye based on the elements and emotions depicted, I choose it. I look for balance, composition, and coloring. Once the painting is done, I address each piece and the elements I want to add to enhance it.” In addition to oil paints, he uses acrylics, foil, broken glass, and resin to create his unique paintings.
Greg discovered he had a talent for art at a young age when a lawyer complimented a comic that he drew. Realizing at age 11 that he wanted to be an artist, he copied Norman Rockwell calendars for practice, putting himself through college and obtaining a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Kendall College of Art & Design at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After college, he was hired by Thomas Kinkade as his first apprentice; he worked in Kinkade’s organization for 12 years, learning the business side of art.
All that hard work has paid off. In 2007, Greg and his wife, Lisa, moved to New Orleans, and opened his gallery, Creason’s Fine Art Gallery, on Royal Street in 2009. In 2019, they expanded that gallery and moved to Chartres Street. They also opened a gallery in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA in 2020 and another in Naples, FL in 2021. Additionally, he is represented by The Giving Tree Gallery in St. Armands in Sarasota, FL, Masters Gallery in Denver, CO, Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art in Sedona, AZ, Hoypoloi Gallery at Chicago O’Hare Airport, Centaur Gallery in Las Vegas, NV, and the Wyland Gallery at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, which features castles from his series, “The Kingdom.”
“Art allows me to be free to choose different styles and subject matter, depending on where I am emotionally,” he says.
Greg’s subjects have primarily been women for 35 years. “I hope that I am painting women in a manner that they can see themselves.” An introvert growing up, Greg noticed small, simple things that he hopes can help him tell his subject’s story. For example, when he worked in a department store in college, he noticed that women tend to touch what they plan on buying; this observation is part of why he works with mixed media, to create texture in his paintings. He hopes that women can connect to his works and relate to the emotions and stories that they tell. Many of the women in his paintings don’t have their eyes featured so the viewer can see themselves as the subject. Delving into women’s stories has its benefits outside of art, as well: “I fall in love with my wife at least 100 times a day,” he says.
Greg often has his pieces as part of a series that addresses a unique theme. For example, “I Got You,” is from his “Pop” series, and his “Once Upon a Time in Storyville” series showcases things you wouldn’t know unless you lived in New Orleans. “I am currently working on a new series that is a bit softer than my very colorful and bolder creations,” he says. “This new series is about taking the subject into the emotional side of it to try to offer the reflection of the pressure and freedom they have in their lives.”
In addition to his new series, he has several commissions lined up, including a 10’x4′ commission that is going to San Diego. He is also going to be part of a summer show in the Hamptons, NY, and he’s donating a large piece to the Boston Arts Academy in October. He also donates artwork to numerous other foundations, including the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and the AIDS Foundation. He usually does 150 to 200 reproductions each month, not including his originals or shows. Even though he’s very busy, he suggests that we all take a step back every now and then and “enjoy what you got.”
“I am always trying to push myself with my own art in terms of the technical difficulty and the subject matter,” he says. “I try to paint my subjects, women or not, in moments where certain emotions or expressions are captured.” Above all, he just wants people to enjoy his art. “For whatever emotions my art invokes, I hope it makes people smile.”
Explore Greg’s work at Creason’s Fine Art Gallery at 831 Chartres in the French Quarter or at creasonsfineartgallery.com.