Florida Artists Group

  Area IV Member

  Denis Gaston— Mixed Media Artist

Denis Gaston

Falling Man 40x40

 Denis Gaston

Gentle Giant 19x29

 Denis Gaston
Denis Gaston

White Hunter 20x24

Denis Gaston

Fail Safe

Denis Gaston's Bio:

         Denis Gaston, originally from West Virginia, grew up in the flatlands of Florida. He received a Bachelor of Art Degree from the University of Florida in 1968, and worked for twenty years in the graphic design field in Atlanta. In the early 1980s, taking a different direction, Gaston returned to Florida and embarked on a fine art career. In 1986, he moved to Dunedin and opened an art studio, which he continues to maintain.
         Gaston’s large scale mixed media pieces employ oil and acrylic, as well as wax, tar, and collage. His work, at once spontaneous and intuitive, draws inspiration from many cultural traditions around the world. Masks and indigenous art hold a special attraction for him.
         Ken Rollins, Past Director of the Tampa Museum of Art, states that “Denis Gaston is an important Florida artist, whose paintings address the human spirit in all of its manifestations”.           
         Lennie Bennett, art critic for the St. Petersburg Times, writes that “Gaston’s paintings have the primal, evocative feel of ancient cave drawings.”
         The Tampa Tribune’s Jenny Carey calls Gaston “a dedicated artist whose mixed-media paintings are distinguished and thought provoking.”
         In 1990 Gaston was honored with a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and his art is included in the Florida Art in State Buildings Collection, and the Pinellas County Public Art Collection.
         He has participated in hundreds of exhibitions and one can find his work in many private and public collections throughout the United States. In Florida, his art pieces are in the collections of Raymond James Financial Corporation, Holland and Knight Law Firm, All Children’s Hospital, Stetson University College of Law, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College and the Polk Museum of Art.              
         Over the years, more and more people are gaining an appreciation of Denis Gaston’s mysterious and thought provoking art.
         Additionally, Gaston has been facilitating groups in No More Second-Hand Art since the early 1990’s. Originally begun as classes at Dunedin Fine Art Center and the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, he has since held workshops at Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, the University of Tampa, Tampa Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, and numerous individual groups.

Denis Gaston's Artist Statement:

           In twenty-seven years I have made art on many surfaces; tar paper, door screens, window shades, sandpaper, linoleum, as well as the normal substrates of paper and canvas. On them, I have variously painted and drawn with oil, acrylic, pastel, beeswax, and ink.
           Many of the pieces were successful, others ended up being recycled. Such is the nature of experimentation. Using unusual materials and unorthodox methods keeps my art from becoming rigid and predictable. I am able to get at the nub of spontaneity and gesture.
           For the last five years, I’ve done two things I usually avoid: the use of consistent themes and the creation of large scale mixed-media pieces. I enjoy the challenge, although the not knowing part gets a bit scary. In addition to using other tools and media (palette knife, collage, sand, modeling paste, gels), I’ve been confronted by the sheer hugeness.
           I often sit in the studio, staring at a blank canvas and don't make a mark. Other days produce a frenzy of work on three or more pieces. Slowly, over time, the work somehow gets done. Through this process, I’ve learned the patience not to force things, and to allow the image time to emerge.

Denis Gaston Exhibitions:

Solo Exhibitions

2010 "Denis Gaston, New Work," Morean Art Center, St. Petersburg, FL
2007 “Denis Gaston, Recent Work,” Galleries at Salt Creek, St. Petersburg, FL
2007 “Denis Gaston, New Paintings,” City Hall Gallery, Clearwater, FL
2004 “Denis Gaston, Body as a Vessel,” The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL
2001 “Denis Gaston, Recent Work,” OB Gallery, Ozona Beach, FL
2000 “Denis Gaston, New Work,” Fusion Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL
1999 “7 Sisters: Denis Gaston Paintings,” TECO Art Gallery, Tampa, FL
1997 “Denis Gaston Paintings,” Pinellas Center for the Arts, St. Petersburg, FL
1996 “Denis Gaston: Ten Years,” Octagon Art Gallery, Clearwater, FL
1994 “Denis Gaston, Recent Work,” Donn Roll Art Gallery, Sarasota, FL
1991 “Denis Gaston, Drawings,” Scarfone Gallery, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL
1988 “Denis Gaston: Pastels,” TECO Art Gallery, Tampa, FL
1988 “The Second Coming: Drawings by Denis Gaston,” Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, Belleair, FL