We had the good fortune of connecting with Greg Dye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Greg, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Texas, but we weren’t there for long, as my dad was a career Air Force Colonel. Our family moved around the US as well as living in England twice. We were transferred to Denver in the mid 70’s and I have been here ever since. None of my relatives were artists so I was on my own discovering my talents. My mom could see there was some talent, so encouraged me to get a commercial art degree. I began working as a graphic designer and after work, on nights and on weekends, I worked on my own art and illustration skills. I took the plunge to become a professional freelance illustrator which I did for many years, working on a local and national level. I began oil painting landscapes around nine years ago and have been a professional oil painter ever since. I feel I finally found my home in oil painting. It’s been a journey getting to where I’m at, but I could not do what I do now without the experiences I had getting here.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As I mentioned I am self taught which for my situation was the best thing that could have happened to me for my career. I have been through many art phases to get to these paintings. I created amateur comic book art which of course is all about your imagination and learning how to draw, anatomy, perspective, etc. I worked as a graphic designer which helped me tremendously with color combinations. The colors I use for the most part are not realistic of course, they are combinations that evoke a mountain, desert scene or river. When I became a freelance illustrator full time I learned about one panel art that has to evoke emotion and tell a story, I worked for some of the biggest advertising agencies in the country. Around nine years ago I just felt it was time for the landscapes. No question this was has been the biggest challenge for me. I had a 1930’s modernist, WPA style in pastel that I used as a illustrator which was very successful or really push myself to try to find a style all my own? So I started to experiment with a wet on wet oil paint technique using a brush. After two years things looked good but the day I picked up a palette knife because of a suggestion is when the real experiment started that you see today. Colors, style, and technique are my own creation and that is what I am most proud after all these years, it took awhile but it was totally worth the wait.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One day a trip to downtown Denver to check out the big Blue Bear at the convention center and then to the Denver Art Museum. Afterwards a trip to Lodo to check out the sights and sounds and then to El Chapultepec for some jazz and beer. Another day a trip up highway 285, very pretty and the way back down check out Red Rocks and have lunch in Morrison, my wife a I enjoy the Roof Top Tavern. A hike in Roxborough Park is on the agenda one day and while your at it drive to downtown Littleton for some lunch. Also a one day trip to Estes Park from Denver is a must see. The drive through Boulder to get there is really a lot of fun and Estes Park is just pure Colorado. Have lunch, check out the lake and take walk around it, then back to Denver. Another day trip is to Colorado Springs to see the Garden of the Gods. This is like no other, gigantic incredible rock formations people come from all over the world to see this. Afterwards have lunch in Manitou Springs right next to the Garden of the Gods. If you like Mexican try Crystal Park Cantina they have really nice seating outside. Plenty of places in and around Denver to go to we love it here so much to do.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I really want to give my wife, Kristin, a lot of the credit for her encouragement, love, and support through this crazy journey we have had through all of this. She is a smart and strong woman who has helped me with my art and life in many different facets and I can’t thank her enough. Second, would be for my dad for all of his support. His life message of “Believe in yourself and with hard work, anything is possible.” has totally helped me become the person and artist I am today. And last but not least, my mom. She passed eighteen years ago and was never able to see these paintings. When it was time to talk about college, she’s the one who suggested commercial art college. I told her “One day I will paint landscapes with my own style like, you know, Van Gogh”. She responded “Well, most artists are starving and commercial art will keep a roof over your head”. Practical mom-talk, of course! Thanks Mom, these paintings are for you and all the people I love in my life who I cherish with all my heart and soul, I cannot do this without you
Linkedin: greg dye studios
Facebook: Greg Dye Studios