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Artist Justin Gaffrey - A SoWal Original

March 19, 2010 by Ellie Avery

Local painter Justin Gaffrey began his career as an artist after working many years as a chef and local restaurant owner. Justin was actually building furniture in 2000 when a primitive Caribbean folk style painting caught his eye and inspired, he painted something similar on a piece of furniture.

The piece sold in just one week, and that was when Justin realized that there were many ways to express himself through art, whether it be the culinary variety he was so familiar with, or through the furniture he was creating. Once he had picked up that paintbrush, there was no stopping Justin. After numerous unsuccessful attempts at painting his personal thoughts and ideas, he finally started painting obsessively each and every day, and today is a successful and creative artist with his own unique style.

Justin would study the works of other painters, including the greats such as Monet and Van Gogh to observe their technique, and outside of a normal daily work routine, Justin found inspiration at every turn. Normal everyday sights became a reason to paint, and some days Justin would paint for 12 hours. His style could be deemed as folk and primitive art, somewhat similar to the style of Woodie Long, a popular local folk artist who sadly passed away in October.

Justin’s work mainly consists of heavy impasto acrylics, with some strokes of paint up to two inches thick. The colors are bold and vivid, representing local land and waterscapes of Northwest Florida.

Justin is excited about the future and the fact that as an artist, his work can take any direction he chooses. The minimalist, simplistic style is appealing, as is sculpture and many other art forms. Whatever medium or style he does choose in the future, one thing is for certain – Justin Gaffrey is one of South Walton’s most original and imaginative artists with a great continuing career ahead of him.

See Justin Gaffrey’s work at his studio and gallery in Blue Mountain, at World Six Studio Gallery in Rosemary Beach, and at Bee Galleries in New Orleans. Call (850) 267 0228 for more details.

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Ellie Avery

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