We had the good fortune of connecting with G. Eric Slayton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi G. Eric, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The very term “Risk Taking” is scary enough on its own. But when you apply it to your own life’s choices it can become either mobilizing or paralyzing depending on your personality type. I don’t believe anything worth achieving in life comes without taking risk and stepping into that unknown in hopes of fulfilling your dreams of making a living doing something you love. My own personal voyage to becoming a full-time artist was a balance of keeping one foot firmly placed on the dock of reality while the other was in a rocky boat. Growing up in Texas in the fifties & sixties ‘painting pictures’ was not the way for a man to make his living, at least according to my step-dad, a house builder. So, after High School in joined the military, did four years then took a risk and moved to California. There I worked several not so fulfilling jobs. I studied commercial illustration, advertising and mass communications while working night shifts. After commercial illustration training I took a risk and started my own freelance illustration and graphic arts agency while also painting houses to keep the income somewhat steady. Still wanting that ever elusive “job security” I took a position with an international communications corporation as a Marking Communications Manager. Twenty years later at forty-eight years old I took the biggest risk, quit my six-figure income job, and jumped into the Fine Art world. My first year as a painter I grossed 18K . . . and was audited by the IRS. . .welcome to Risk Taking.
I think Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best . . . “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My personal style of art is ‘Representational’, to put a label on it. Loose and direct interpretations of what I see and feel while painting whatever subject at that moment. I lean towards lots of color and paint texture. I truly enjoy painting large format images expressing calm and relaxing places. There is enough chaos in the world and everyday life and the last thing you want to see is more of it hanging on your home or office wall. There is so much beauty in the common place that can change the mood of the viewer. As Thoreau put it . . . “Nothing is without beauty . . . even dirt will glitter when the Sun shines upon it.”
I have to say that one of the nicest things for me was to be invited to exhibit in the Arts in Embassies Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. I even had a couple of paintings hanging in the West Wing of the White House for a short term.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What Marlene and I mostly enjoy about living here in Prescott is the quiet hometown feeling, the change in seasons and the close proximity to Scottsdale for its art galleries and fine restaurants. Sedona and the Grand Canyon are just a short drive. Cave Creek is one of my favorite day trips to hike and plein air paint. In Spring the desert explodes with colorful wildflowers and cobalt blue skies.
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?
First and foremost I must credit my wife Marlene for encouraging me to take the risk and for continuing to work to make sure the bills were paid and put food on the table so we didn’t have to eat the fruit from my still life’s. I studied with many well-known artists at the Scottsdale Artists School as well as California Art Institute where I was mentored by Neil Boyle and Ron McKee. Both successful commercial illustrators prior to turning to fine art. I advertised for a year in a leading art magazine and was granted a six page article and by the end of that year I was represented by four well known galleries. During my carrier I have, at one time or another, been represented by forty-three galleries from coast to coast including ten years with the May and Danela Galleries in Scottsdale until Dan and Elaine May retired. I have had some success with collectors coming directly to our Studio / Gallery here in Prescott as well as internet sales. This seems to be the current trend with younger first-time fine art collectors. It seems that the new generations of affluent buyers would rather internet shop then see, touch and feel the merchandise they are purchasing.
Other: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Studio / Gallery Phone No.: 928.460.2007
Paintings: Dream Catcher II Vermilion Rain Oh Those Arizona Skies Thunder And Dust Silent Surf, Shoreline Beach Sunset On The McDowell’s The Studio from Gallery Studio / Gallery