Meet Grace Oakley
Grace Oakley's art career began in 2012 when she needed to find a way to describe her experience with a subject too mysterious, profound, & vast to put into mere words. The end result: A thesis paper became a painting which was so revered she was invited to give a presentation on it to the entire organization.
Grace was born and raised in California. When not making art, she enjoys studying theology; hiking & nature walks; attending the symphony, ballet & theater; hosting English tea; and sports with her family. They reside in Southern California.
How does one express the inexpressible?
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.” – Georgia O'Keeffe.
Grace explores Beauty, Truth and Goodness with her abstract expressionist paintings, as well as in her artwork revolving around nature and spiritual themes.
Grace Maria works primarily with oil and acrylic paints, but also dabbles in photography, illustrated manuscripts and iconography. She shuns the typical painting tools in favor of instruments from around the house to apply the paint (pastry scrapers & spatulas from the kitchen, paint stirrers & car wash sponges from the garage, etc.)
Each and every painting by Grace Maria is created with the future collector in mind, and, in fact, as she paints, she sends best wishes and good intentions to those who will ever view the image. Within that still and silent space comes her inspiration to communicate a particular sentiment or message them, with compassion and hope from her own experiences of challenge and victory.
Grace Maria’s abstract expressionist artwork is distinct and reflects the evolution of a Soul. starts with a layer of gold, reflecting the dignity and beauty of the person. She has a unique way of capturing the essence of patron of the custom commission, garnering such praise as: “It’s like she took my Soul and put it on canvas!”
She strives to create a one-of-a-kind visual impression of your hopes, joys and struggles with bold strokes of paint and motion which reflect the energy of the up and down journey of life from curiosity & discovery to the emptiness of the interior desert; from hell and highwater to places of delight & rest. Celebrate the failures into wisdom, and the despair into ultimate victory by sharing in the universal experience of humanity with your beautiful, unique, unrepeatable Self, seen on canvas as your personal custom commissioned fine art painting.
AWARDS & EXHIBITIONS
- "Peoples" Exhibition: Sonoma Regional Art Center, Sebastopol, CA (2015) Jenny Hall, Juror
- Honorable Mention (Professional Painting); Art Exhibition, Costa Mesa, CA (OC Fair: 2014 & 2018)
- Selected for Exhibition (Professional Painting: Oil & Acrylic), Costa Mesa, CA (OC Fair: 2014-18)
ART EDUCATION & TRAINING
- High School & College Art Courses
- Illustration: Watts Atelier (Jeffrey Watts)
- Illustration & Painting: Atelier St. Luc (Ian Roberts)
- Painting (Wendy Froshay)_
- Photography: Capturing True Emotion (Val Westover)