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Artistic Inspiration - The Path

Shane Townley, 2014, oils, 60 by 60 inches

"The Path" by Shane Townley

The Artists: Equal parts artist, social activist and gallery director, Shane Townley has learned to trust his instincts. As an artist, he sees painting as a form of meditation. “I usually start with a landscape in mind,” says Townley, “but the canvas completely transforms as I paint.” He opened his first gallery in San Clemente in 2004 and followed two years later with Townley Gallery in Laguna Beach. He also provides the artwork for the bottle labels of Townley Wines in Sonoma, a boutique winery with no family connection he partnered with after discovering it online. As an activist, he started the nonprofit Townley Arts Foundation in 2013 to support children’s arts education and mentoring for emerging artists, directors and art consultants. He recently invited the public into his studio in Laguna Beach to sell his paintings at cost to raise money for education in Cambodia. “A lot of kids drop out of school after sixth grade because middle school is too far to walk,” Townley says. The sale of his studio paintings will provide students bicycles to get to and from school. Townley is also a consultant for the Georges Bergès Gallery in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. Through January 29, Casa Romantica in San Clemente is showing a retrospective of the past 13 years of Townley’s exhibitions. Learn more at shanetownley.com.
The Artist’s inspiration: I was driving up the 101 freeway in Northern California to an art show with two art consultants (Bill Bradfield and Yesenia Rodriguez). We were driving through the thickest fog I have ever seen near Monterey, discussing the next steps in our artistic journeys. At that moment this tree popped out of the fog right along the 101 freeway. … Right then New York popped into my head, and I said, “New York is where we have to be.” Everyone agreed. That moment, when we all knew what was next for us, was captured as a visual in my mind, and that became the inspiration for “The Path.” I feel that we all have a path in life, and we should always stay open to finding that path with constant self-reflection and a positive attitude.

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