New Painting: Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not) 2

June 29th, 2014 | No Comments

grant wiggins - everything is a landscape (or not) 2
Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not) 2. June 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).

I have to confess, the World Cup has “parked the bus” in front of my easel! I simply haven’t been painting as much as I probably should lately.

While I might deserve a yellow card for time-wasting, I did recently complete this painting, Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not) 2, an acrylic-on-canvas piece that measures 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).

This painting is a remix of a painting I finished last month, shown below. I simply wanted to rework the composition, with some small adjustments to the square ribbon motif, in a completely different colorway.

grant wiggins - everything is a landscape (or not)
Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not). May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).

Poster for Maricopa Community Colleges Student Art Competition

October 19th, 2011 | No Comments

A new poster, based upon one of my recent paintings, will soon be circulating throughout the 10 campuses of Maricopa Community Colleges (MCC), promoting the college system’s 26th Annual League for Innovation Student Art Competition.

MCC student art competition poster
Posters for Maricopa Community Colleges’ 26th Annual League for Innovation Student Art Competition.

The poster is based upon my 2010 painting Flat Space, Imagined Place. MCC designer Janet Sieradzki used the graphics file that resulted from original digital sketches for the painting. (Since 2001, I have designed all of my paintings digitally before painting them.)

I’ve enjoyed a fruitful, collaborative relationship with Maricopa Community Colleges over the past several years. In 2004 and 2005, I designed a pair of posters for MCC’s Honors Forum Lecture Series. My art has been featured on a 2007 faculty convocation program and a collection of winning entries for a 2007-2008 student writing competition.

MCC student art competition poster
2007-2008 MCC publications featuring designs adaptated from my paintings.

Overall, I’m very happy with this new poster, and I’m very excited to see how the art competition turns out. My thanks go to Ms. Sieradzki for inviting me to share my work. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with her yet again!

New Miniature Artwork for Think Small 6 Miniature Art Show

October 17th, 2011 | No Comments

I present to you the smallest painting I have ever made: A three-inch by 2.5-inch (7.62 cm x 6.35 cm) miniature artwork for the upcoming Think Small 6 miniature art show, held at Artspace in Richmond, Virginia.

miniature artwork

Titled Deconstructed Mash-Up in Improvised Colors, this new miniature artwork reflects my recent experiments in abstract and randomized compositions. I landed upon the composition on accident, while designing something very different on my computer. When it came time to make this painting for Think Small 6 — I was working under a deadline — I kept changing the colors as I went. In essence, this painting is a study; I am considering an attempt at a larger version, using different colors, soon.

Think Small 6 is an international miniature artwork invitational, bringing together pieces by 260 artists from around the world. The show will open at Artspace on Friday, October 28. A preview gala will be held on October 27.

I have priced this painting, which is signed and framed, at the low-low price of $59.99. If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please contact Artspace at

30-Minute Abstract Art Sketches

June 30th, 2011 | 2 Comments

Lately I have been experimenting with time-based abstract art sketches. For 30 minutes at a stretch, I attack a given composition with all I’ve got, working to produce something visually compelling under the pressure of a time limit.

Because the clock is ticking as I go, I have to work fast, and I have no time to second-guess myself. I am forced to “turn off my brain.” My intuition takes over. I go into a zone where some of my most creatively satisfying work happens. Things just happen.

abstract art sketches
abstract art sketches
Two recent abstract art sketches: I am in the process of refining these sketches into compositions that I will eventually paint. Going forward, I will be careful to honor the spirit of the original sketch — in other words, not tinker too much.

These 30-minute abstract art sketches also offer me a format for keeping my compositional skills fresh. It’s almost like how baseball players take batting practice every day, stepping into the batting cage and hacking away, working on the mechanics of their swings, trying to relax, and not to force anything, in the process.

Ideally, just like batting practice, I’d like set aside time each day to make a sketch, working on one specific design motif or geometric element per session. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite found the time to do this every day!

Another benefit of the 30-minute approach is that it prevents me from tinkering with a composition until I reach the point of diminishing returns, something I have encountered in the past. In fact, last summer I produced 24 different takes on the same composition! Results varied by the end, anyway: Once I started painting, the painting took on new life, deviating from the original sketch in significant ways.

I should add that I started experimenting with 30-minute sketches four years ago. The spontaneous art that followed, part of an art lottery project, eventually resulted in paintings such as Corporate Wellness Program.

We’ll see, indeed, whether my current batch of abstract art sketches will metamorphose into paintings in the physical realm.

Now showing paper paintings in ‘Meltdown’ at Soyal Gallery

July 3rd, 2010 | No Comments

paper paintings soyal gallery

One of the shows I’m participating in this summer is Meltdown, at Soyal Gallery in downtown Scottsdale. Bringing together the work of more that 30 emerging artists from around the planet, the exhibition takes aim at the mind-melting heat we experience every summer in Arizona.

For the occasion, I have produced a series of eight “paper paintings” — experimental compositions made of paper — that share a common geometric motif.

I approach making them the same way that I do with paint. I very much enjoy working with paper, and I believe that I do not do so enough. Paper gives me a bit of freedom to try out new shapes and color combinations. There’s vast opportunity to encounter “happy accidents” and explore them accordingly.

I also had fun generating titles for this set of new works, which share the word “meltdown.” Titles include Abstract Plastic Forest Meltdown, Alarmist Pharmacist Meltdown and Cape Canaveral Carnival Meltdown.

See for yourself at Soyal Gallery, 4200 N. Marshall Way, Suites 2 and 3, until August 12.

The pop-up galleries of downtown Scottsdale

June 26th, 2010 | 2 Comments

Phoenix New Times offers this coverage on the “pop-up” galleries (temporary galleries with month-to-month rent) that are springing up in downtown Scottsdale, made possible by the nosedive in the commercial real estate market.

Scottsdale’s Marshall Way was hit pretty hard by the downturn; late last year, vacancies turned the once-thriving gallery district into a ghost town.

The article highlights Soyal Gallery, operated by my friends Spencer Hibert and Emmett Potter III, as an example of how a struggling economy has created opportunities for emerging gallery owners and their rosters of artists (such as myself, who is mentioned on page three of the article).

The piece also ties the development of local pop-up galleries with a West Coast and international phenomenon, wherein hard-to-rent commercial spaces have been routinely transformed into venues for successful galleries.

“The history of the art world has always been about revitalizing places no one wants to go,” observes John Spiak, curator at Arizona State University Art Museum. “Galleries have consistently raised property values. … Move in somewhere that will bring activity, and the rest of the surrounding businesses will do better.”

Visual artist Spencer Hibert wins Big Brain Award

May 23rd, 2010 | No Comments

Grant Wiggins Spencer Hibert
Yours truly, pretending to have won the award, with Spencer Hibert (right), who actually won the award. Photo expertly taken by Tara Logsdon.

I congratulate my friend (and Soyal Gallery co-director) Spencer Hibert on winning the Big Brain Award, in the category of visual arts, from the Phoenix New Times last night. The award recognizes inventive “emerging creatives” in the Greater Phoenix, Arizona area. Read about the award recipients.

I witnessed Spencer’s coronation at last night’s awards ceremony, held at Madcap Theater in Tempe — and I must say it was really a fantastic moment. I am very happy for Spencer and wish him all of the best with his artistic pursuits.

After the awards, I cajoled Spencer into taking a photograph with me, pretending to have won the award.

One of Spencer’s plastic Miigii creatures was featured on the cover of the May 20 Phoenix New Times; the article about him in that issue also mentions my solo show at Soyal Gallery: “Several of the pieces in the gallery’s first show (super-graphic paintings by Grant Wiggins) actually sold, though the two-month-old gallery’s far from becoming a Marshall Way mainstay.”

Congrats, Spencer! Awesome show! Great job!

Press coverage of my Soyal Gallery show

May 11th, 2010 | 3 Comments

As my show at Soyal Gallery nears an end (It closes this Saturday, May 15.), I’d like to share a couple of press clippings that have cropped up over the past two weeks. I’m quite pleased to say that my work has graced the pages of Phoenix Home and Garden (May issue.), Scottsdale Republic (Saturday, May 8 edition; image here) and Java Magazine (May issue, all through the ever-popular Club Cam section).

Here’s the Phoenix Home and Garden clip:

phoenix home and garden

As this article was in development, writer Judy Harper asked me where my painting titles come from. Interesting question! And this became the focus of the write-up. For a bit more context, here is my full response, dated March 18:

“By nature, my paintings are nonrepresentational. In other words, they don’t depict, or represent, anything found in reality. Some artists paint pictures of cows, landscapes and people. I’m different, I guess. I have always wanted to paint things that don’t exist, whether it’s made-up product packaging or geometric elements. That said, there’s nothing to ‘get’ about my work. Everyone should be able to see my paintings for what they are: paintings.”

“I believe that titles have a way of forcing the viewer to see something in a painting, or make sense of what is going on in the painting. Therefore, I deliberately choose titles that don’t mean anything … they are merely combinations of letters, generated by software or scrambled translations. To me, this makes more sense than naming a painting Untitled.”

“Long story short, I don’t want to color the viewer’s perceptions of what they see. The painting should stand on its own. Before my paintings, viewers should have the opportunity to experience the literal act of seeing.”

Also, I’d like to thank Java Magazine Publisher/Editor Robert Sentinery for publishing several images of my Soyal show opening, which was a great time. Do take a moment to see the full issue here. Below is a sample; see images 3 and 8.

On that note, I’m back to the easel, painting away. No time for stopping! slideshow showcases Thomas Hayes Gallery opening

April 18th, 2010 | No Comments

Thomas Hayes Gallery in Dwell Slideshow
Above: My 2006 painting Eodroon featured on Photo courtesy of Elko Weaver.

Images of my paintings on display at Thomas Hayes Gallery are now featured on, in a fantastic slideshow. See the accompanying article here.

I am so happy right now, on a personal level and for the Thomas Hayes Gallery. The years of hard work are paying off.

Hard edge art works now on display at Thomas Hayes Gallery

April 16th, 2010 | No Comments

I’m very happy to share with you this set of images on flickr, which offer a glimpse of my current showing of hard edge art at Thomas Hayes Gallery in Hollywood, California.

thomas hayes gallery
From left: Süfnex (2004) and Stryyka (2006), hung with a 1960s-era jacaranda coffee table, as well as stainless steel Inox chairs by Zanini de Zanine.

I’m very happy to be showing at Thomas Hayes Gallery. I’m very impressed with how my work is displayed; my paintings really pop against the deep-space charcoal walls. My minimal painting Orääänj is one of the first things you encounter as you enter the gallery from the street. Likewise, I am thrilled to be showing among works by John Barbour and June Harwood — legends of hard edge art.

I invite you to check out my set of 14 photos from this show on flickr now.