My name is Shawn Griggs. I am a native Californian, born in June of 1969 and have been creating art since childhood. Throughout college I focused on illustration and design rather than painting, often looking towards the likes of Arthur Rackham, and Alphonse Mucha for inspiration. It wasn’t until 1999 that I finally embraced the paintbrush and found that I enjoyed how forgiving painting was compared to the tight rigidness of drawing with pen and ink.
After 10 years of creating and running the Latin restaurant Casa Blanca with my wife Maggie, my family and I moved back to the town where I was raised, Ferndale, in 2007. I was fortunate to find a small storefront that I converted into a working studio/gallery and set up shop. I work the shop during the day, and paint from about 10pm to 3am and blame the late night habit on the late closing times of the restaurant, but have also realized that there is something special about creating during the late night/early morning that is greatly different from the energy of the day. It was 1999 when I finally embraced the paintbrush and found that I enjoyed how forgiving painting was compared to the tight rigidness of drawing with pen and ink.
As far as my inspiration goes, I am an avid Humboldt county surfer with a hunger for travel. Both the north coast, and experiences abroad supply me with the bulk of my imagery, and each painting has a story behind it. Over the years, travels south of the border have provided the ingredients to paint the essence of the other main theme in my work which comes from the Mexican holiday “Dia de los Muertos”. It has found a firm hold within my imagination and I have been exploring the realm of the skeleton and what it can mean to my world visually as well as spiritually since 1999.
Shawn “redeye” Griggs