Heartbroken from the hate…

I’ve been painting while I process the recent shooting in Colorado Springs this past weekend. At first I felt numb and just “jumbled up”. As I painted these rainbow colors, weary sadness and sharp anger is what holds me now.

I firmly believe from my own experiences and observations that this is the result of the non-acceptance and hate TAUGHT and FOSTERED by many on this planet of so many people, but especially LGBT+ folks just being themselves. Just being the people who God created them to be.

To the many conservatives out there – this means YOU! And if you truly believe that your own heart and mind are hate free, you continue to elect leaders with loud voices who don’t accept, who oppress, who voice false nonsense and hate about those different from you. And if you remain silent while this goes on and people die, your hands are bloody too.

And for some of my family members – “love” without full acceptance isn’t love at all. It’s hate and fosters this world where people are killed just for being themselves.

I’m done trying to change minds and hearts about acceptance and love. Now I’m working to support those who are hated and in crisis because of it.

And, I’ll also keep painting rainbows.

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Things I think about in my studio…

It has been awhile since my last post, but I need to get this topic out of my head (and my studio) and onto “paper”. You may have seen my Instagram (davidcastleart) posts recently about my Forgiveness Tour to Idaho where I verbalized to my Mom (who passed away 2 years ago) and my Dad (who has severe dementia) many things that I forgive them for from my 54 years as their son. Forgiveness topics included some big things like rejecting me completely just for being gay, and for some small things like reminding me to not be a “sissy” when I was young.

I also forgave them for never acknowledging my career change 20 years ago from a corporate technology guy to a full-time abstract artist. And this is what I’ve been thinking more about in my studio lately as I paint. I just don’t understand it and, given my Mom is gone and my Dad doesn’t know who I am, I’m sure I’ll never understand why.

Was this just another general rejection of me? Was becoming an artist not “manly” enough for their conservative/traditional views? Was giving up a 6-figure salary (and all the trappings that came with that) too “irresponsible” of me for my future? Was embracing my creative self being too much of a “sissy”?

I’ll never know.

But, after 20 years of pursuing my passion and embracing and living as my artistic self, I’m OK with letting this fade as I continue my forgiveness journey. Now, back to painting!

At work in my Denver Studio, where I paint AND think…

Happy Pride… and a little about my big gay journey

I’ve never posted much about the “big gay journey” part of my life, but this Pride month it has been on my mind. So, I’m sharing what I thought about as I painted this Pride-inspired, colorful abstract today.

I knew that I was different somehow from a pretty early age. Those who say “don’t say gay” are wrong… I think I would have benefitted from knowing that gay people and gay parents and gay families even existed at an early age. It never came up in my conservative family and I had no idea what was going on with me through my childhood. There were no visible gay people around, nor role models in rural, conservative southern Missouri. By the time I figured things out on my own, I knew being gay must be very much hidden from the world. And loathed by myself.

After years of suppressing who I was, accepting the oppression I witnessed around me, thinking about ending my life (just a jerk of the wheel going 100mph on the autobahn), I finally accepted me as God made me. I was 27 when I finally came out, and then spent the next decade trying desperately to change the minds and hearts of my immediate family, while my parents pleaded with me to get “cured”. But, the resolve of my parents, and brother, and sister to continue rejecting me only solidified as the years progressed. I believe this kind of hate is taught, learned and still advocated by many. I still am in wonder that I made it through it all, but I did and my journey continues out the other end.

Now, my life is full. Full of my art, the love of my life and best friend Steve, many wonderful extended family members and a sense of peace. Yes, I’ve had to let go of much and have found forgiving my immediate family, especially my parents, is more of an ongoing process than a single decision point.

So yes, it does get better and yes, I’m proud. Proud of being the gay man God made me to be. So I paint these rainbow colors with lots of reflection and pride!

Pride colors 2022

Denver Arts Festival is This Weekend!

I kicked off my career change in 2003 from computer scientist to abstract artist by exhibiting at many art festivals in Colorado and the West. The Denver Arts Festival has been one of my favorites and I was awarded the Best in Show award in 2008!

Now that I’m back in Colorado, I’ve been selected to exhibit once again at this wonderful festival, full of local and national artists. If you’re in town, please plan to come by to visit (or meet) me and see almost all new abstracts that I’ve painted over the last several months.

Denver Arts Festival details are below and you can find me in Booth #85… hope to see you this weekend!

NEW Mini Abstracts Available on My Website!

I’ve released 15 new mini abstracts on my website and invite you to jump over to www.davidcastleart.com to check them out!

No waiting for the supply chain to catch up, these original abstract paintings are all ready to go, for shipping or pick up at my Denver studio.

Each features a brand-new resin varnish and I love the rich, glass-like finish it gives each painting. I think you will too… they’ll make a great addition to your own art collection or for your gift-giving list for the upcoming holidays. I included a few sample mini abstracts for you to browse below, but please visit www.davidcastleart.com to view them all!

“Rainbow Drops” Mini Abstract
“Mossy Earth” Mini Abstract
“Ochre and Graphite” Mini Abstract

BIG news for my Mini Abstracts!

New mini abstracts with a brand-new, glass-like resin varnish… releasing to everyone on October 28th!

I’ve been hard at work in my studio painting fifteen new mini abstracts, each with a brand-new resin varnish. That’s the reflection you see above and I’m loving the rich, glass-like finish it gives each painting.

I’ll be releasing all fifteen new mini abstracts to folks on my email list first on Wednesday morning, October 27th. So, you’ll have first choice to add them to your art collection (or gift list) before I announce them to my social media followers the next day.

I’m super excited and think you’ll love them. If you’re not on my very-occasional email list, visit my website homepage to add your name to the list so you won’t miss out on the initial release!

Welcome (me) back to Colorado!

This summer has been a flurry of activity (and stress) to get me and my husband Steve moved back to my native Denver, Colorado. We arrived to a temporary apartment living situation on May 1st and haven’t looked back. Less than a month later we were under contract to buy a great townhome in Denver’s Central Park (formally Stapleton) neighborhood. I can’t believe how blessed and fortunate we were to find a place to buy so quickly in the hot Denver housing market!

Now that we’re mostly settled, we’ve been enjoying the main reason we moved back to Denver – spending time with old friends and extended family here in Colorado. We even took a day off to hike one of my most favorite hikes in the world… the Hagerman Tunnel railroad bed trail near Leadville, Colorado.

Steve and I at the abandoned, narrow-gauge railroad tunnel – Hagerman Tunnel (August, 2021).

I’ve also been getting settled into my basement studio space at our new home. It’s a fine workspace for now, but this winter I’m planning to have the interior finished with drywall, electrical, new lighting, a work sink, a purple-painted concrete floor, etc!

My basement studio… awaiting interior finishing this winter!

50 FREE Flapjack Paintings all Ready to Give Away Today on Super First Friday!

Today is Super First Friday to kick off Denver Arts Week!  I’m all ready in my studio to give away 50 FREE Flapjack mini paintings to the first 50 guests in my studio today between 5pm – 9pm!

My studio is located at 800 West 8th Avenue in Denver.  I’m in the building on the southwest corner of 8th Avenue & Inca – entrance is on Inca under the “Creative Studios” awning… hope you can visit!

Flapjacks of all colors to choose from!

50 FREE flapjacks to give away this Super First Friday, November 4th!

Stack ‘o Flapjacks Ready for this First Friday!

I’ve been getting ready for this coming First Friday… SUPER First Friday, that is, since November 4th kicks off Denver Arts Week!  I’ll be in my studio giving away art again this year as my way of helping folks get to know MY art (“Know Your Art” is the theme for Super First Friday).

So, here’s my stack ‘o flapjacks, with backwashes painted in all colors, ready for the first 50 guests to my studio.  If you come by, I’ll invite you to pick out your favorite color and I’ll finish it and mail it off to you in the coming weeks.  All for free!

Can’t come to my studio??  Be sure you “like” my FB art page and watch for me to give some away on FB this week.  Just visit my website and click on the “like” button at the bottom of my homepage and you’ll be set to get my FB updates!

Stack of Flapjacks ready to be given away on Super First Friday, November 4th in my studio!

Special Offer: 2012 Winter Sojourn Paintings on Sale Now!!

I’m excited to announce my upcoming 2012 Winter Painting Sojourn on the Oregon Coast, January 10 – February 7, 2012!

I can’t wait to stay in my usual spot in the tiny town of Oceanside, Oregon and get my fill of inspiration from the mighty Pacific, the lush and rugged coastline, wicked winter storms and the ever-present horizonline.  In fact, let’s make that “HorizonLine”, and use it for the name of my latest series of paintings that I’ll be painting while on the coast.

As in past years, this is where you come in… I’ll be pre-selling a limited number of my new HorizonLine paintings to everyone before I head to the coast.  With a color of your choosing, I’ll then paint your original 12 x 12″ painting during my sojourn, whilst I soak up all that inspires me there.  Comment here or email me to order yours – I can only paint a limited number!  Here are the details:

HorizonLine Paintings (Winter Sojourn, 2012)

Special Sojourn Price: $150 (regularly, $275)

Description: Each painting will be inspired by a color of your choice in my new HorizonLine style.  Original paintings are watercolor on paper, mounted on gallery-wrapped, stretched canvas.  Canvas edges will be finished with acrylic paint and ready to hang with a clean, frameless look.  Each painting will be a finished size of 12 x 12 inches and protected with a final varnish with a UV filter.  Finished paintings will be available for pick-up at a special studio exhibit on First Friday, March 2, 2012 (paintings can also be shipped for $15/each).  I guarantee that you’ll love it, or I’ll return your payment!

Nine of my new "HorizonLine" paintings

Winter Sojourn Study Paintings “gel” in the Midst of Studio Chaos

For the last month, I’ve been working on my ideas for my upcoming Oregon Coast Winter Painting Sojourn that I’m announcing… well, right here and now!  My studio has looked and felt a bit chaotic during this time, but my ideas have really solidified and I’ll be rolling out details here and on my website in the next few weeks.

So, if you missed my special Sojourn painting offer last year, you’ll want to stay tuned for this year’s offer!  Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of my choatic studio from this morning…

Winter Sojourn Studies in progress in my studio this morning.

Latest Tree Commission Painting… Finished!

Here’s one of my summer commission projects… finished and delivered!  My clients love it, so it was a success.  Now that I’m done with my summer projects, I’m on to experimenting for my fall Open Studios and working on ideas for my Winter Sojourn!

"Five Vermont Trees", watercolor on paper (canvas-mounted), 50 x 38 inches.

Downtown Denver Arts Festival… This Weekend!

"Trio - Key West", watercolor, 18 x 42 inches.

This weekend marks my seventh year exhibiting at the Downtown Denver Arts Festival!  Come by to visit and to see my latest series, “Solo, Duo, Trio”… I’ll be in my usual location at the intersection of Glenarm and the pedestrian walkway.  Here’s the schedule:

Friday: 4pm – 8pm
Saturday: 11am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Monday: 11am – 4pm

Hope to see you there!

Special Studio Exhibit: Oregon Coast Flapjacks

My painting sojourn to the Oregon Coast is over and I’m back in my studio!  For the past week I’ve been working hard to get 62 of  my Oregon Coast flapjacks ready for a special studio exhibit this First Friday, March 4th.  This special exhibit will only be intact at the beginning of First Friday, so come by early.  If you are a sojourn Shareholder and would like to pick up your share(s), please come by anytime Friday, March 4th, 4 – 8 pm.

62 framed flapjacks ready for my Studio Exhibit this First Friday!

Blank Shares Stacking Up…

I’ve been getting myself ready to leave for the Oregon Coast these past few days… including a big session with my paper cutter to create blank flapjacks for all of my Shareholders.  It’s not too late to become one and add your flapjacks to the stack!  Just email me or leave a comment here!

Blank stack of about 75 flapjacks that I'll paint on the coast for my Shareholders.

Less Than 50% of My Winter Sojourn Shares Left!!

View from the Oceanside Beach, just a 5 minute walk from my painting "perch"!

Two weeks from today I’ll be on my way to the Oregon Coast!  I thought I’d provide an update on my Shareholder event, especially for those folks who haven’t reserved your own shares yet.

As of today, I’ve sold 56 shares out of 100!  Thank you to everyone who has participated so far – you’ll have fun sharing in my inspiration and anticipating receiving your exclusive framed flapjack that I’ll paint on the coast.

If you haven’t yet contacted me to reserve your shares, email me now, or leave a comment on this post and I’ll get in touch with you!  For just $40/share, I guarantee you’ll have some fun sharing in my inspirational sojourn and anticipating getting your own painting from my trip.

If you’re reading about my Shareholder program for the first time, here’s a complete description:

I’m busy planning my sixth annual Winter Painting Sojourn to the stormy Oregon Coast and would like to invite you to be part of it!

This year I’m offering 100 “shares” in my inspirational sojourn at $40/share.  As a Shareholder, you’ll receive one of my exclusive, oversized flapjack paintings that I’ll create for you while I’m on the coast (a $75 value).  I’ll be painting on the coast from January 19th – February 16th, 2011 and will work with a color of your choice.  I’ll then frame your flapjack in a 6 by 6 inch Nielson frame and include it in my special open studio exhibit on First Friday, March 4th, 2011.  You’re welcome to pick up your flapjack at that time, or for $5 extra, I’ll ship it to you after March 4th.

If you’re looking for a gift – this is an excellent idea, and I’d be happy to provide you with a special gift certificate for the recipient.  Of course I’ll be blogging about my sojourn this winter, so you and your gift recipient can follow along and share in my experiences and inspirations and anticipate receiving your flapjack in March!

So, buy your share now!  Email me or comment here with your number of shares and your color(s) and I’ll be in touch with more details.

My Winter Painting Sojourn: Want to Become a Inspiration Shareholder?

I’m busy planning my sixth annual Winter Painting Sojourn to the stormy Oregon Coast and would like to invite you to be part of it!

This year I’m offering 100 “shares” in my inspirational sojourn at $40/share.  As a Shareholder, you’ll receive one of my exclusive, oversized flapjack paintings that I’ll create for you while I’m on the coast (a $75 value).  I’ll be painting on the coast from January 19th – February 16th, 2011 and will work with a color of your choice.  I’ll then frame your flapjack in a 6 by 6 inch Nielson frame and include it in my special open studio exhibit on First Friday, March 4th, 2011.  You’re welcome to pick up your flapjack at that time, or for $5 extra, I’ll ship it to you after March 4th.

If you’re looking for a holiday gift – this is an excellent idea, and I’d be happy to provide you with a special gift certificate for the recipient.  Of course I’ll be blogging about my sojourn this winter, so you and your gift recipient can follow along and share in my experiences and inspirations and anticipate receiving your flapjack in March!

So, buy your share now!  Email me or comment here with your number of shares and your color(s) and I’ll be in touch with more details.

My exclusive, oversized flapjacks... over 75% larger than my regular flapjacks!

Grrr… Yellow is SO Hard!

Well, I’m down to one flapjack left to paint from my big free flapjack event that I held during Denver Arts Week.  And, it’s the only one with a yellow backwash.  As I contemplate how to finish it, I’m reminded of one of my favorite lines from the sitcom, Will and Grace, where Jack says “Grrrr…. psychology is so hard!”.  Well, often for me yellow is so hard!

Not that I don’t like yellow – my home office where I’m at now is painted a nice, soft golden yellow and the yellow backwash on this last flapjack is a nice golden-yellow-ochre.  I just seem to have a block when it comes to creating and painting with yellow.

So, I’m going to let it rest over the weekend and tackle it on Monday.  I’m sure I’ll think of something even though “Grrrr… yellow is SO hard!”

The last free flapjack to paint...