By Hayley Thomas
Drew Davis' renditions of local landscapes, jazz bands - and event still life - are anything but still: His artwork dances with vivid color, rich texture and a fervent energy that is uniquely human. The newest resident artist to join Paso Studios on the Park, Davis said his work has a way of leaping off the wall.
"I've been told my work has a freeness and energy to it," Davis said. "I think I add a fresh and modern feel to Studios on the Park."
The 28-year-old San Luis Obispo resident began creating art at a tender age. Encouraged by his artistic parents, Davis said he enjoyed drawing, paintings and piano lessons during his home-school years.
At just 17, Davis officially launched his fine art career. By his teens, the painter was already showing and selling in downtown San Luis Obispo art galleries.
"I first started out using color pencil and more fine detail, and then when I started to paint, my style got really loose and a lot more expressionistic," Davis said. "I've always liked bright colors and I just found painting to be very fun, so I pursued that. I used acrylics for about five or six years, then discovered oil paints; There is nothing quite like oil."
Now, Davis mostly works in oil paints, but also dabbles in mixed media. The artwork reflects a range of interests, including local landmarks, music, faith, still life, figurative and abstract subject matter.
The painter said he prefers wood over canvas.
"I really like the texture of painting on wood; It's that natural look, very raw," said Davis. "I try to show as much of the natural wood grain as I can. It acts sort of like paper, absorbing some of the medium, and pencil applies well to it. I found it to be a really neat surface to work on."
In September of 2010, Davis launched his first studio in a rustic 1930s warehouse located on the edge of downtown San Luis Obispo. He then began selling his paintings during Arts Obispo's monthly Art After Dark events.
The artist's paintings eventually garnered the attention of Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo and, in December 2012, the gallery began carrying Davis' "local landmark series."
An accomplished artist under 30, Davis has shown his range of work at Artifacts Gallery in Cambria as well as La Belle in Carmel. Davis was named 2013 Best Local Visual Artist Runner-up in NewTimes' Best of SLO poll.
Currently, Davis said he spends a few days a week painting and meeting with art collectors at Studios on the Park.
"I'm getting to know the artists and people," said Davis, adding that he aims to bring a certain jolt of excitement to the space.
"I am inspired by abstract art - it's exciting to me," said Davis. "There is more unknown about each piece, and it's more or less up to interpretation and the feeling you get from it. It's all about the emotional response."
For more information, visit DrewDavis.com.