Chris Irwin

I have many passions that I like to paint but the most prevalent is the ocean and its surroundings. I think this has great meaning to life, family, and rest. My style leans towards impressionism to modern art with color and motion to bring out an experience of visual beauty.


Portfolio:

In the Blue

In the Blue is a modern take of undersea life which was inspired by photographer Alejandro Velasco, to whom I’m very grateful for allowing me to use his work. It is the first collaboration of paintings that I have done with another artist. The shapes and brush strokes were not specific in intent so to allow ones imagination and emotions to dictate what you see. I used marine blues, sea greens, and silvery grays to dominate the paintings and give an otherworldly ocean feel.

Ghostly Rays “Ghostly Rays”

‘Wow wow wow! Finally an all time dream came true!! We were with thousands of mobulas for 2+ hours!!’ A mystical scene of layer upon layer of rays gliding together. I tried to depict these layers and it turned ghostly in feel and movement. It is one of my favorite paintings because of the soft mystery that came through at the end. Seeing the rays there but not knowing how many are really there.

Signals

A desire of mine in the past was to develop my own font or alphabet for writing and graphic work. I’ve seen others make their letters and was impressed with that form of creativity. Recently my paintings have drawn me to sailing and the ocean and I came across a naval chart of flags for communicating. It was clear that as a subject that putting these flags to canvas was a natural fit for what I love to paint. It also gave me my fulfillment of this past desire of having my own font. The 26 canvas series is the largest group of paintings I have done and was well worth every stroke of the brush.

Selby Bay Yacht Club “Selby Bay Yacht Club”

Using my SIGNALS series paintings I have put together the initials of Selby Bay Yacht Club. This is the marina that my in-laws have kept their sailboat for many years and the beginning of my love of sailing and the sea. Contextually its the initials but the deeper meaning of call signs and phrases bring a fuller display for the flags: Sierra-'Going Astern', Bravo-'Dangerous Goods', Yankee- 'Dragging My Anchor', and Charlie-'Affirmative'.

Scrap

An on going series of not wanting to waste any paint. I take scraps to piece together modern mosaic images. Over the years I have found that there were many times a build up of paint on pallets that I wasted or didn’t use for the canvas. When I scraped off the dried paint I found beautiful patterns and color combinations in different shapes and sizes.

Big Blue “Big Blue”

Big Blue is the first of my Crabs of SCRAP art. Made with left over paint from pallet. I didn’t want to waste anything and a dynamic crab image came to life. The blues speckled with other colors makes this crawler pop with visual energy.

SAILS

My first completed series of works. It was a process of asking myself what kind of paintings describe a part of who I am. Something form my heart. The Sails series was the natural choice. Sailing has been a part of my life for many years. It was introduced to me through my wife and her family and the love of being on the water with friends and family have given me many great memory’s that I love.

When I have sailed, there is a sense of that I have some control and responsibility of where I am. I can steer the rudder and trim the sails to go where I want to go. But I don’t have control in the wind or sea that I am on. It is a lot like how I see life in myself and how circumstances can intervene. Winds will change and the sea may rise, but I must still sail. It is a beautiful thing for me to see life in sailing and sailing in life. I hope you are moved in the same way when seeing my SAIL series.

Sailboat #3 “Sailboat #3”

Duel sailing ships catching the same wind. Side by side, like two friends walking together across the water.