Photos by Jeff Jones.
Sean Oswald is an emerging artist living and working in Waco Texas. He grew up in Toledo, a mid-sized industrial city on the Ohio/ Michigan border. In 2004 Sean left home to enroll in art school at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, which is a small University town about an hour north of Cincinnati. There he studied art and art education, which led to his first job as a high school art teacher. During nights, weekends, and summers Sean pushed his art by working consistently in the studio and taking workshops. In the summer of 2012 Sean and his wife Hilary moved to the Hudson River Valley where he apprenticed with the artist and realist painter Garin Baker at his studio “The Carriage House Atelier.” There he learned the tradition of “alla prima” painting in oil. Days were spent painting from still life in the morning, landscape studies in the afternoon, and models came over during the evenings. Occasionally they would take trips down to New York City to paint with Garin’s artist friends, or to study at the Art Students League.
Then in 2013 Sean and his wife decided to take a big step and leave their community and jobs to pursue graduate school as a catalyst to fulfill Sean’s dream of being a full time artist. During graduate school he experimented with many different types of art making styles, mediums, and means of expression. Currently Sean makes paintings and drawings that range from the conceptual to the traditional. His conceptual works seek to engage dialogue and understanding between contemporary Christian and arts communities. While his other works are about beauty, style, shapes, experimentation, play, colors and intuition. To him quietly engaging with a beautiful still life is just as important as crafting a philosophical position.
His work can be viewed on his website, in person at his studio at Wave Pool Gallery in Camp Washington, or currently as part of the exhibition “Fresh American Art” at TheArtLab.Me in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The practice of painting and drawing for me is partially about quietly and thoughtfully engaging with a subject, content, material, and myself. I think that an individual’s perspective and voice is extremely important and somehow my acts of creativity are a performance of that. This can be seen in my work when I choose to flatten space, or mess with perspective, or to paint something differently then I perceived it. Sometimes a gesture can be a work of imagination or intuition, and sometimes it is a response to what I am looking at.
I love authenticity and confidence in artwork and I try to have these in mind as I create. These things manifest as bold colors, and expressive or gestural marks. I seek to tell things poetically and beautifully. The question that has been challenging me lately is, “is this good, true, and beautiful?”