Garry-Lou Upton

Artist Statement:

The inspirations for my paintings come from personal experiences and from the many different countries I have had the fortune to visit.  When paintingI try to not paint what I see, but how I feel about what I see, how the colors and smells of the place affect me, how the people interact with their environment.  My objective is to have the viewer come along on my journey, to enter the painting and see what a place, person or object means to me and how it has enriched my life. 

I work in water based media, primarily Acrylic paint, but use multi-media materials (pencils, pens, water-based oil pastels, crayons, collage, etc.) for finishing my paintings.  I use Acrylic paint both as a transparent watercolor and thick and gloppy with a palette knife, depending on the surface I am painting on and the effect I want to achieve.  I also work in cold wax and oil, a new medium for me.  This medium is quite different from Acrylic and gives me the opportunity to expand my techniques of building layers to get a wonderful richness of depth to the finished product. 

While I always start with a firm idea in mind (I am rarely a non-objective painter) I am not married to a strict interpretation of my subject matter or original drawings and often let the paint take over.  I love the feel and texture I can get with both these mediums and use this to enhance my subject matter, working wet into wet with lots of scrap backs to the under painting to get depth of surface, and using mixed media products in the finished painting.


Gallery and Collections

I currently show my work at Crossroads Art Center.  I also have displayed my work at Arts Works in Richmond, VA and at Studio Gallery in Kilmarnock, VA.  I have paintings in both private and corporate collections in Richmond,VA; Ohio; Illinois; the Virgin Islands; and in the Federal Reserve, Atlanta, GA.


Shows and Awards

2003-present:  Bi-monthly juried and judged shows at Crossroads Art Center, winning numerous awards

2003-2005:  Monthly juried and judged shows at Art Works Art Center

2007:  One-person show at the Richmond Public Library “Intersections in Time”

2008:  Judges Choice Award Art Affair “Looking In, Looking Out”, Richmond, VA

2009:  Second Place Acrylics: Body of Work, Art Affair, Richmond, VA

2009:  Two person show at Crossroads Art Center “Welcome to Egypt, Welcome Home” after a six month stay in the country.

2009:  Celebration of the Arts: National Juried Exhibition.  Two paintings accepted.

2010:  Juror “Heart to Heart” art show at Lucy Corr Village, Chesterfield, VA

2012:  One person show at Crossroads Art Center: Wind and Fire, Desert Hot, Old World Charm” depicting my travels to Russia, India, and Poland.

2104, 2015: Annual Regional Art Show.  Two paintings accepted in each

2016:  Second Place, Abstract Show, Studio Arts Gallery, Kilmarnock, VA



Bon Air Artists Association. Board member for 10 years

Metropolitan Richmond Artists Association, past First Vice President and Programs Chair,   

Rappahannock Art League.

James River Art League, Chairman of External exhibits, Crossroads Art Center