Artist Spotlight: Spencer Purinton

Although technically born in a desert town on the West Coast, Spencer Purinton has lived over half his life in the Natural State, and is comfortable with calling El Dorado, Ark., home. “I married a Southern Flower,” he laughs, “So, here I am.”

Even though El Dorado is his home base, Purinton is moving into the Central Arkansas scene. As one of the featured artists at the newly opened DRAWL Gallery in the Heights, his work isn’t too hard to find.

Art has always been a part of Purinton’s life. “I remember drawing as far back as my memory goes,” he says. Even as a young person interested in art, he made sure to try everything as far as mediums go. He remembers when he first discovered a colored oil clay similar to play-doh, and began to tinker with sculpting. Beginning to paint was the same way for him, discovering the process through a method of self-teaching.

When asked for influences that affect his work, he thinks for a time before shaking his head. Purinton works hard to immerse himself in all-things-art, and therefore, considers “everything from Manga to Michelangelo,” to have some sort of influence or inspiration to him.

“Art has always been a refuge,” he says, “It’s something that I can do anywhere at anytime, and it’s always been there.” Thus, themes in his work are about communicating life on an emotional level. He says Nietzsche has it right when he says that art is a way to save us from reality.

Furthermore, Purinton believes art is a conversation of sort, from artist to artist and artist to the world at large. A few years back, he decided to go public with his work. Since then, he’s had several shows in El Dorado and is now very excited to be a part of DRAWL. When asked why the sudden move to share his work, as he’s been creating all his life, he says, “For me it’s about the process, the actual creation. Plus, at the end of the day I end up with a lot of artwork taking up space at home.”

A working man, in his spare time Purinton can be found in his home studio, spending up to 14 hours creating. “I always make sure to take a break,” he says, smiling. As much as he’s an artist, Purinton is a family man, and makes sure to spend time with his loved ones.

Currently, Purinton is focused on painting, and enjoys playing with colors and scale. He’s be known to switch mediums, however, and still loves sculpting and working in pen and ink.

The introvert considers the business of art a little strange, as he believes everyone’s tastes are different. That being said, he thinks that Arkansas is a host to a wide-array of artists. “We have some really great art in this state,” he says, “there are a lot of people doing really great stuff.”

When not working, Purinton enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Catch some of his work here, and if you’re in the Central Arkansas area, head to DRAWL to see it in person.

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