Gabriel Lehman’s paintings take you to a whimsical, colorful place. Enjoying the Indiana Artisan’s work is a little reminiscent of watching Alice slip through the Wonderland looking glass.
“I create entire worlds where my characters can play, explore and live out every childhood dream without boundaries” Gabriel says. “My designs all relate because they all have the same intent — to bring light into the heart of the viewer.”
The self-taught artist has been painting for less than 10 years. Gabriel discovered his talent while looking for a new career. He had been a construction worker for 14 years when his hands developed problems that forced him to hang up his tool belt.
Watching Gabriel paint with tools that are as unique as his work is a study in high-energy movement. Because he’s ambidextrous, he often wields big brushes covered in crafts paint with both hands simultaneously.
“Having both hands painting at the same time helps me truly submerge myself into the landscape of the piece,” he says. “The materials I use are not typical for artists, but I make them my own. My technique was not taught to me. It has been refined through the way I see light reflect and the way shadows capture shapes.
“In my paintings, I create worlds in which my characters can be innocent, playful and adventurous,” Gabriel adds. “Community is a huge theme in my paintings because my characters are often interacting in ways that involve kindness, trust and knowing no strangers.”
Primarily, he paints on canvas, but often works on wood. “I enjoy letting the wood shape my paintings, as opposed to having a flat canvas. In some pieces, I use flexible molding paste to add texture to my canvas and make it look more like it was painted on wood.”
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