Local Artist Spotlight: Georgia Griffin - The Bend Magazine

Local Artist Spotlight: Georgia Griffin

Griffin is a self-taught artist whose work personifies the idea of never losing the magic of one’s inner child

Photography by Lillian Reitz

Georgia Griffin is a self-taught artist out of Rockport, Texas, whose preferred medium is acrylic on canvas. Griffin’s work personifies the idea of never losing the magic of one’s inner child. “Whimsical surrealism is my adult brain’s way of dancing in the fairy dust of childhood,” she said, and it’s become a bit of a mantra. Through subject matter, usage of color and dashes of sensible humor, Griffin explores what could be in historical, fanciful and well-researched ways. 

For many years, the core of Griffin’s work has touched on women’s issues that ranged from girlhood to motherhood, and explored areas of mourning and loss, gender disparities in the political realm and ultimately how the environment and its creatures do or do not affect women’s issues. 

While she can draw inspiration from just about anywhere, connecting with a concept or theme that can be interpreted over and over again through a collection of paintings is both her great challenge and her innate gift as a creator. 

“My brain is my favorite tool,” said Griffin, “it makes everything possible.” And this idea seems to be the breeding ground for her latest pieces. Her most recent body of work, Sovereigns of the Sea, grew out of an amusing sketch she produced for her grandson: a fish depicted as Queen Elizabeth II. Surprise and delight ensued, and Griffin quickly found herself delving into images of past royals to reinvent them with her imaginative eye. 

She dares to introduce a point of view that draws on realism, hyperrealism and surrealism, and ultimately conjures a sense of childlike nostalgia for the viewer. 

“Don’t hold back,” Griffin said. “Don’t let anyone get in your way.” Not everyone will understand the work, and at the same time, the work may not be for everyone. “Create for you,” Griffin explained, “and let yourself explore the unknown.” 

When it comes to the confines of making someone else’s idea come to life, there is much to be discovered about herself as an artist and as a woman and how that influences her take on her south Texas-inspired themes. “I don’t always feel connected to commissioned work in the same way as I connect with my own,” she said, but she always leaves pieces of herself on each canvas. 

As in previous collections, the viewer will connect with paintings rooted in an atmosphere reflective of the Coastal Bend; bold colors depict nature’s bounty as the Gulf Coast meets internationally renowned royalty in Sovereigns of the Sea, and the uninhibited use of imagination, bright colors and fantasy serve as the catalyst for her creations realized.