Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Greg Manchess Show at the Society of Illustrators

I want to make this a personal invitation to all my favorite Muddies out there: Arnie and Cathy Fenner are sponsoring my show at the Society of Illustrators in NYC, and I’d love to see you all there! I couldn’t be more happy about it, except for being a little scared!

This is the show I envisioned from my first days in this business, but I couldn’t see what the paintings would be. It was a goal set far in the back of my mind that I’d been reaching for over many years. The scary part is finally arriving at this point, turning around and saying, “this is me.” I’m actually confronting myself, and letting you in on it. The best way to do that is to accept the challenge and put it up.

So, I wanted to reach out, to mention a few things that I’ve found particularly important for you to consider about this show and about my work. I suppose I should’ve titled this post, “10 Things...About My Show!”

In my desire to become an artist, I started out exactly like you. Curious, confused, yet determined. My discussions about talent all stem from the idea that anyone and everyone has the opportunity to become a good, if not great, painter. The hard fact is, not everyone takes up that task. But there are ways to work on this.

When you see the work in the show, see it as a young person working constantly over the years to uncover his own voice. You have a voice, too. Bringing it out is the challenge. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not possible or that 'you either have it or you don't.' There are countless, countless stories about people who have achieved their visions in spite of others’ lack of vision or inability to encourage. Only you have the knowledge of yourself, and it’s very difficult to explain that to anyone, let alone discover it yourself.

Mastery is built, not gifted. There is no skill you can own by trying it once. Being good at something early on is merely potential, not a resolution. My work will show that on the walls of the Society. Certainly, I’ve tried to hang my best work. Unfortunately, some of my personal favorites will not be present because they were either too far away, or lost.

Like you, this is merely one step along the path. There is so much farther to go. This show is me at this point in my career. Some of the pieces are experimental and will show a new direction I’m heading in, so let me know what you think.

See this show as perhaps a reflection of yourself. Then, take me up on the task. Not necessarily hanging at the Society, but the task I’m talking about is dedicated to finding your own voice, your own expression. You have one already!

Surely, I am not completely original. But I am authentic here. (That’s the scary part!) I’ll write more about that on Muddy as I explain the idea of copying, and stealing ideas. Mimicry. These are the methods by which we dig out ourselves.

If you’re in NYC in September or October, stop by the show. And if you happen to be there on the night of September 27th, please come to the reception! I have a quick half hour talk with some questions at the end. If you miss the show, no worries...I’m working with a publisher on a book of my work and I’ll announce it here sometime soon!

And I bit the bullet and now have a Facebook pro page. Friend me up!

A preview of some of the paintings:


  1. I really wish I could be there Greg! If I had the money I'd fly over the ocean in a heartbeat!

    Do you think it would be possible for someone will document the night in video? It would be great to see your talk and opening night, even if it is not in person.

    Most of all though I would like to personally thank you for your encouragement and generosity in helping fellow artists! Your words have helped me, to push myself and grow so much this last few years. So Cheers Greg :)

    I wish your opening night to be awesome you deserve it!

  2. I want to second what AvP wrote, Greg. Your work has been an inspiration since before I knew who had created it. The advice and wisdom you've shared on MC has been a strong influence on my own betterment as an artist, as well as helping to foster and maintain a consistently positive outlook on living a creative life. Many, many thanks, sir.

    Best of luck with the show, although you hardly need it. Crack it like a ninja™!

  3. Congratulations on this show! I wish I could be there so bad, yet it's hard for me to get over there all the way from Argentina.
    I follow every MC post daily for over a year now. However, your´s have always been my favourites and they have served me as a beacon in my journey as a young illustrator. "That´s where I want to go. I want to paint like this someday".

    Thanks for all you´ve given to the MC community.
    I only hope to be able to address you in person someday and
    maybe attend one of your classes.

    Ignacio Corva

  4. Comes down just a month and a half too early for me. Really hate this. An incredibly well deserved show and I wish you all the best.

  5. Greg! Congratulations. I have been waiting for this for 15 years! I can't wait to see it. I'll be there the 27th, and I'm sure a few other times as well. Is there an opening night, too?

    So glad this is happening! Your work and words have been so inspiring to me.

    Rick Price

  6. Congratulations again, Greg. As these comments usually go, many people write to say they wish they could go, as many live far away.
    I'll be there.
    Most illustrators love paint. We all try it, some with success, others with more frustration. We all know that a true master uses economical brushwork to say so much. I have attempted economical brushwork but it is futile to try with Greg Manchess out there. So, I paint my realistic, million-brushstroke paintings and enjoy the mastery of your work.
    Tim O'Brien

  7. Congrats Gregg! - Well deserved. Also thanks go out to Arnie and Cathy Fenner for their support of this exhibition!


  8. Hey you guys....thanks so much!

    Rick....the reception IS the opening on the 27th. The show will be up, however, on the 3rd. It's just a way to get everyone on board about it, and hopefully allow many students to get in the autumn semester swing and be able to come by for the opening.

    Sorry to miss all of the artists abroad. NYC is expensive! But will still wish you could make it.

    And Bill.....whatta drag! Sorry I'll miss seeing you as well! But I may video some parts of the event and try to make them available for all the Muddy supporters.

    Tim.... thanks for that, but your work has taken on a mastery all its own! Whodda thunk that all it took was decades of practice, huh? : )

    Glad to hear about inspiring some of you. I have more posts planned to try to explain this process of growth for an artist, as I am learning as well. So much information out there now!


  9. Greg, I'm so happy for you. Your work is so influential to so many artists, like me, who are just coming up in this crazy freelance world, so keep fighting for good art! All the best on your show, I know it'll be a grand success!

  10. Don't give up, Will...just keep going. I've been in the business long enough to see and watch artists plug away at it, and then finally turn around some years later and realize they've become what they were intending to become.

    There's a kind of "semi-permeable membrane" of skill that stays just in front of you, taunting you to pierce it, and one day, you'll look back from out in front of it and realized you've passed through. That's when you understand you have a voice and ideas.....and the real work begins.

    What's more is that this will happen over and over again as you progress through the years, each time spurring you on to learn more about yourself and your art.

    This is why authentic artists are in a constant state of creation. Always looking to progress and develop, to see things creatively and build on what they know.

    Never completely arrive at your artistic destination, Will. If you do, you've given up. The idea that we get a style and keep it is for the naive. Artists always keep pushing their own envelopes.

    It is intellectual evolution. And one day, you'll pass that on, too. Become a master at what you do, and then....give it away.

  11. I would love to be there for this Greg, your journey is an inspiration to me and us all, I learn so much from watching you practice and execute your craft. Looking forward to the awesome pics from the event.

  12. Congratulations Greg! I have followed you on Muddy Colors for a few years now, and your words have definitely lifted me out of that pit of doubt on many occasions. All of us are blessed that you are able to share your words of wisdom and encouragement, and that these words are being chronicled for posterity. Many many congratulations! I look forward to seeing the book once its available! :)

  13. Congratulations on a great honor!

  14. Glad these things I talk about are hitting the right note.

    I mostly say all this because I have had the same experience: confusion, doubt. I had to realize that that IS the process. But no one comes out enough to say that directly. At least, I wish I had been able to hear it if they did.

    So saying this is important for all of us. And yes, it is normal to go through this process depressed and insecure. It's a struggle. That's WHY it's a process.

    Well shoot, if I'd have known that earlier on, I might've made better progress!! LOL!

    You guys need to hear it so we can get on with the action of creating.

    Besides, I love sharing it with folks who will understand.

  15. Gregory,

    Congratulations on the exhibition!

    Mark T Smith

  16. Congratulations, Greg, and thanks for your words of encouragement and inspiration here on MC!