Focus on an Esmarts team member : CoastalArtist

by dianegeisel on September 14, 2008

Etsy and eSMArts are both interesting places…”Why?” you might ask…my answer: “Because of the extraordinary people there.” I’d like to introduce to you one:

Coastal (Van) joined Etsy July of this year and eSMArts in August. In the short time I’ve gotten to know him, I am taken with both his art and his insight. Looking at his art in both pencil and oils you see what he sees; you feel what he paints or draws. That is not easy to communicate, but Van makes it look easy. To use his words:
“With each painting an artist becomes a ‘self-taught’ artist, learning something different with each painting rather it be the application of colors and hues or the different composition styles a particular scene or animal offers. Each painting is an adventure into the world not only of art but the spirit of the subject, be it a wolf in Montana or a Green Heron on the shores of Week’s Bay.”

I have enjoyed our Thursday evening team chats on Etsy and it has given us all the opportunity to get acquainted with Van and I enjoy his humor….
“There was no doubt in my heart or spirit that I would be an artist someday ….. I’m still working towards that goal sixty-three years later. My mother wanted me to be a doctor, my father wanted me to be an engineer, my brother just wanted me to be gone. My grandfather wanted me to be a preacher, my grandmother, a full blood Cherokee, wanted me to follow my spirit.”

Van speaks here (with humor, of course!) about his introduction to the arts:
“My mother had said more than once that “I was born with a paint brush in one hand and a pencil in the other”. (Not sure she ever forgave me for that LOL) I began drawing as soon as I could stand and reach the wall with my crayons, those that I didn’t eat first. After learning what NO meant and what a ‘SWITCH’ was (that was way back when you could spank a disobedient child) I began using paper. To this day paper and pencil are my favorite mediums. Pencil sketches can capture the moment or scene with just a few strokes or a thousand neatly laid out lines. Along the way I discovered oil paints and canvas.”

eSMArts is a diverse team with members spanning the globe and from all walks of life… here is a bit more about Van:
To this day….. I walk after my spirit. Even after 60 years of painting and drawing the world around me, I start each new painting with all the excitement and expectation as if it were my first. An avid outdoorsman, I live with my wife Joyce (behind every man stands an even greater woman) on the sun-filled Gulfcoast of Alabama. Together we explore the bays , bayous, and shoreline for a never-ending supply of new sources for paintings.

Van invites you to visit CoastalArtist on Etsy as do I!!
CoastalArtist on Etsy
“I share with you my art but I also share with you my spirit. Don’t just look at the art…. spend the time with it and feel it. Let it touch you, let our spirits touch.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

A Beaded Affair September 16, 2008 at 9:42 am

Diane, what a wonderful tribute to an amazing artist. I so admire Van’s work. My current favorite, since it changes all the time as I see more of his work, is the painting “Bad Attitude”. It just makes me smile. Wonderfully done.Lois

Anna Lee September 16, 2008 at 1:19 am

Diane, I know it’s hard to do Van’s paintings justice with mere words but your sensitive treatment of this artist is a great tribute to a fine person and his extraordinary talent!-Anna Lee Husband, Toronto, ON

TeriB September 15, 2008 at 10:18 am

Van’s ability is simply amazing–I can’t draw a stick figure without a ruler! The last one, of the wolf, looks like the animal could leap off the screen and into my office! He’s a great addition to eSMarts and his creativity will keep all of us humble!Teri

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