Artist Interview: Duane Cregger

Posted by Jenni Kirby - March 30 2021


The subconscious is this never ending well of creativity. If we pay attention, we will be surprised at what emerges.”


For Duane Cregger, his venture in painting began in 2003 when moving away from Washington, D.C. “Though I’ve been creative my whole life, painting was a new path of self-awareness. I was looking for answers, and painting was a part of that.” Duane says it was this moment that launched a journey of personal growth, using painting as his compass. “In a lot of my work there is a symbolic writing, though it is never consciously intentional.”


A Southwest Virginia native, Duane recalls this melancholia of sorts and inspiration in the nature, people and isolation. “It’s hard to reconcile growing up in that area with an urban mindset, which I try to do through painting.” Duane is quite proud of his work, partnerships, and growth which emerged during this time in his life. “I have a hashtag that I coined — #AppalachianContemporary — and people are using it now, which is awesome.”



Creatively speaking, Duane says he often starts a painting with no preconceived notions and simply follows intuition.“It must always be something new, that’s the point of creativity. It’s not a style but a feeling.” Like his piece Thicket Breaker 1, which is part of a series about mentally pushing through to new things in life. “This idea is a thicket of sorts to me, to push through things that hold us back. I often paint and then I realize what it is about after the fact.” After this series, Duane shifted to more subtlety in color and movement as well.


With his recent move to Richmond, and a larger exhibition space at Crossroads, Duane says he is more excited than ever to create new artworks. We can’t wait to see what new art emerges from his creative subconscious.