Featured Artist: Gregory Mortenson!

Haiti Painting by Gregory Mortenson

Gregory Mortenson. His paintings are stunning – when you look at them you can feel the soul of the person he is painting. The painting above is one of his Haiti paintings – he’s got quite a connection to Haiti, be sure to check out his bio! Impressive! I love his paintings as well as his story…

See more of Gregory’s work via these links:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Blog  | Teaching

Read a bit about Gregory, from his website:

Gregory Mortenson is a classically trained artist known for his his arresting and emotive portraits of Haitian children. Shortly after completing his academic training Mortenson and his new wife were called on a humanitarian effort to Port au Prince to help reshape an orphanage that had been destroyed during the earthquake of 2010. Amongst the rubble of despair Mortenson came face to face with the paradox of tragedy. Moved by what he calls, “the beauty and triumph of the human spirit,” he set about making sketches of the children as they waited in hope for a new home and school. In 2013 he returned to Haiti, however this time, not to rebuild, but to teach art at an orphanage. During this time he was able to complete several additional figure studies which later informed his 2015 exhibition: Zion’s Children.  A portion of the sales made from this exhibit have benefited the Hope for Life Children’s Home in Gressier, Haiti, allowing the community to continue in its growth.

Mortenson credits his father and grandfather as being two of his earliest role models in art making. “They were both prolific draftsmen and enjoyed painting whenever time would allow for it. Between the two of them, they created a lot of art, they made me want to create art.” Henceforth, Mortenson began his artistic journey and attended Southern Virginia University on a wrestling scholarship. After receiving his undergraduate degree in art, he returned to his family home in Utah to study life drawing and painting with Boston School Painter, Patrick Devonas and classical realist, William Whitaker. In 2006 he moved to New York to further his education in classical technique with Jacob Collins at Water Street Atelier at the Grand Central Academy of Art. After completing the four year program at GCA Mortenson spent two additional years studying side by side with Collins in his private studio.

The majority of the figure paintings Mortenson creates are presented to the viewer as simple, half length or bust portraits. Each work celebrating the sitters individuality by a naturalistic mimesis of his or her specific characteristics. However, what becomes most impressive is the artists ability to utilize a subtle downward glance, a slight part in the lips or a tilted chin to convey reflections of inner life — connecting us to a greater whole, that of our humanity.

Gregory Mortenson has gallery representation in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Tennessee and has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and art fairs throughout the United States. In 2015 he celebrated his first solo exhibition; Zion’s Children. He teaches portrait drawing and painting at Grand Central Academy, NY and offers a summer course at the Center for Academic Study and Naturalistic Painting in Springville, UT, He currently lives and works in New York while maintaining a studio in his hometown of St. George Utah.

-Alison Collins, Director of Collins Galleries

Click HERE to read more about Gregory – Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via GregoryMortenson.com, used with permission…

Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

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