• Alexandra Hemrick

'Carrying it Forward' August 28, 2021 Studio Visit with Chad Creasy

'It started with a bonsai tree,' he tells me, pointing to a picture of the painting steps away from his easel.

Today I had the honor of visiting the psychedelic studio of my friend and neighbor, Chad Creasy (@paintgoodwithchad ) a former Salon Suburbia artist, and an instructor at Spruill Center for the Arts (@spruillarts ) in Dunwoody, GA.

In the throes of deep grief over the passing of friends, family members and family pets all in too short a span, this graphic artist by day, and former painting major, returned to his passion if for nothing else but to enter a state of consciousness where time and grief could exist outside the studio door for a few hours. Immediately, the bonsai painting sold. The universe sent a sign to continue on, and so he did.

When I first saw Chad's work, I felt the same feeling I did when I saw a Bob Ross painting, and he does draw a lot from Bob whose techniques, along with an instructor at Spruill, helped him return to his painting roots. However, there was so much more going on with Chad's work, and I see it more with each painting of his, 'Majestic Creatures.' For years I've been drawn to these subtle bits of whimsy, sometimes in sunsets (more surreal and colorful), in the bark that defies his usual style, in textural flowers applied boldly over a farm scene, or in the angelic lighting and pose of a toughly-dressed tattoo artist, that take the work to a new level.

Chad admittedly doesn't take himself too seriously and doesn't think much of those driven by their egos. Endearingly, this comes through in his work. Whether or not his YouTube videos, "Paint Good with Chad," become a household name as in the case of Bob Ross, is yet to be seen, but his influence on his students at Spruill or on YouTube will certainly break down barriers to entry for many, and give those looking for solace through art in these tough times, the tricks and tools to springboard them to the art that they want to make. As Bob and a Spruill instructor helped Chad return to his painting roots in a time of need, so too will his teaching help people struggling to cope with the pandemic to find a space where they can escape for a few hours.

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