We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Gray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
My first oil painting was at 10 years old, and I have been creating art ever since. Born in Denver, Colorado, I have a Fine Art degree from Cornell College. I have sold work in galleries and festivals, and have done commissions for individuals and corporations, alike. Although my media is not exclusively oil paints – I have done work with acrylic paints, collage, digital, and music in addition to oils – art has been a mainstay and has truly been a gift to me. It has provided challenge, purpose, and utter joy in my life. My goal is to share this gift with people through the works that I create.
My identity as an artist began early. I grew up surrounded by painting. One of my early memories was going with my mom to take oil painting classes. A woman taught a group of ladies painting techniques, color theory, and best practices of painting from her home. They sipped tea and chatted together, while creating beautiful works of art. I was enthralled and started painting with my mom at age 10. Another memorable encounter with art as a young child was when our family visited family friends, one of whom was a painter. Every visit he painted with me, and I brought home interesting abstracts from those trips. In college I jumped in fully – taking many diverse courses from sculpture, to painting, to collage, and an introduction to computer art. I tried as many art forms as I could, both in and out of class. I loved conceptual art as well as retinal art.
Being an artist has always been a natural fit for me. My mind is always teeming with ideas. The evolution of my artistry has been anywhere from abstract to realism. Abstract deals with me using the fundamental elements of art (line, shape, color, texture, etc.), and utilizing them for their own sake, without trying to refine them to fit in our representative world. I love expressing myself with a line, a certain color combination, or texture to represent a memory, feeling, or thought. With Realism I want to tell a story, while subtly leaving the viewer to derive the context from the setting of the image, or the actions being depicted, in order to make their own understanding. I really believe that anyone can make a connection to art – they just need to find the one that speaks to them.
I started my business, Fine Art Home by Sean, because I want to create works that are accessible to homeowners so they can decorate their homes with meaningful art. Because I have background in different media, and abstraction and realism, I have a wide diversity of styles to fit different tastes. I want my customers to be able to design their spaces with unique pieces of art in mind – and so I give them choices, through reproductions, about the sizes and configurations that will work with their vision. I use digital technology with augmented reality, so that people can use their cell phone to see how an artwork looks on their own wall before buying it. I also have a preview tool that allows people to see a particular piece of art in a mock living room or bedroom, or for a business lobby or conference room, etc. With that tool, the customer can try out different wall colors, which is great when planning a redesign. All of my efforts are so that designing one’s home with unique and personal pieces of art can be easy. My goal is to continue to add work on a regular basis, so there is art to fit diverse needs. I really welcome the opportunity to talk about art with anyone and am available for questions or assistance!
Fine Art Home by Sean
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
There are three aspects that I am excited to share about Fine Art Home by Sean. I offer diverse styles of art, reproductions with various options and substrates at relatively lower prices, and offer technology tools that make it easier to decide on how a particular piece would look in your home.
I have always wanted to start this venture and when the pandemic hit it felt like the perfect time. Galleries were closing, art economy felt to me as if it were constricting and more people were going to be in their homes more than ever before. So with that backdrop in mind I opened Fine Art Home by Sean.
Although Fine Art Home has only been open for six weeks and was started with a select collection of works, as the months go by I will be adding many more works to choose from. However, I have been pleased with the pictures and letters people have sent me of the works they bought and where they ended up putting them in their home.
I believe art is not a luxury, but an essential. We all want our surroundings to feel comfortable to us and grounding for our soul. Beautiful aesthetics or thought-provoking images of one’s surrounding can engage a memory, invoke a feeling, reinforce beliefs or thoughts held dear and even inspire us. I am fortunate to have concentrated my training on a breadth of art from realism to abstract. With this skill set, I am starting to create a diverse and eclectic set of work – hopefully so that people of different tastes will find something that speaks to them. I have only just started with a small collection which has been received wonderfully and will be adding many pieces each month.
My desire for Fine Art Home is also to provide affordable artwork to meet any homeowner’s budget. I was selling at a festival one year and there was a person there who really wanted a piece of work but could not afford it. He shared with me that he cuts out pictures from calendars to have something beautiful hanging on his walls. Not everyone can afford an original in their life, so the next best thing is having a reproduction as a possible middle ground. A lot of artists shy away from prints or only want to sell limited edition prints. Fine Art Home embraces reproduction. It lowers the cost of art for people to afford an image of a piece that fits their personality and environment. Don’t get me wrong, I will always advocate for original work for its aesthetic sensibility, and to support artists. Being an artist is not easy.
However, I feel there is room for both. I would rather have an image of mine that speaks to someone in their home as a reproduction than not at all. The camera technology that is used now is so good that with the original piece lit correctly, you can capture many of the textural aspects and tonal qualities of the painting. Especially if you are working with the right printer.
I also believe that being able to see an art piece in the place you want it in your home is crucial in deciding on what to buy. Therefore, I have provided a technological solution. You can use the AR tool on my website to be able use your cell phone to capture a piece of artwork and move your phone around to find out how it will look in your home. I also have provided a wall preview tool to see how a piece of work would look in a mock home or business environment.
I have always created art. Even when I was working in the accounting department of a corporation, I was coming home after my eight-hour day to create. This is not something I merely like to do. It is something I must do. It is an integral part to who I am. Of course, most artists wear many hats, as do many small business owners. After the creation of a piece of art is complete, you realize that you are then marketer, accountant, and salesperson. The work is demanding but rewarding. With Fine Art Home I feel gratified when someone sends a picture or writes back to me how my work has changed their surroundings.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend were visiting the area for a week, I would probably suggest traveling west to Glenwood for a couple of days. Start with a hike to Hanging Lake. It is a great little hike to a beautiful lake in the mountains. After that head to Glenwood Springs for a soak in the hot springs. It’s a perfect end to a day spent hiking … or with a paintbrush in your hand. I’ll take any excuse!
We really appreciate hiking anywhere, really. Some of our favorites include Estes Park, Eldorado Canyon, Lair O’ The Bear, and St. Mary’s.
Coming back to Denver, a really fun thing to do is take a Segway tour. You travel with a group of nice people seeing some of the major sites in Denver proper, like the capital (on a Segway, awesome!). Jeanine and I love spending time in coffee shops and restaurants. We are always looking for a good coffee shop. We’ll try any new little shop that we find, and our regular right now is Legends Coffee in Aurora. Good restaurants really depend on your taste, Jeanine and I love all types of food. We love Monsoon for Indian food, La Cueva for Mexican, Duo for American cuisine, and Pete’s for Greek … just to name a few.
Finally, there are more ways to connect with nature than on a mountain. We have a membership at the Botanical Gardens, and I have gone there to sketch and think out my next series of work, but it’s also a great place for a stroll with the family.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My partner Jeanine has been of great support. We do everything together and enjoy each other’s company thoroughly. Every step of the way she has been there for me – through the ups and the downs. The life of an artist can sometimes be an inconsistent path in the way we make a living. Yet we have found a way to strike a balance to try to create the life we want to live.
I would also like to mention my parents who have also been a tremendous support for me. They have always believed in me and given everything they could possibly give to affirm my wellbeing and happiness. They have always pushed me to do what I want to do, not what society’s conventions thought I should do. Believe me, an art career is not for the faint of heart – even knowing that I have always been supported and truly love what I do.