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Artist, Grey Sikes*, poses with one of his unique, dimensional art pieces.

(Scroll down to see more,)

Grey Sikes, a Batavia, IL newcomer to the art world, revels in following his creativity into unchartered territory and invites FOX VALLEY ART BEAT readers to give their feedback on his work – scroll down to the end of this article.

“Paint Collage” is Grey’s brainchild -- a mixed media technique he’s currently exploring and developing. It involves pouring vinyl or acrylic paint onto a surface where it can be easily peeled off after it dries and placed – mosaic-like -- into a collage-inspired design. He’ll often use a sharp artist’s knife to create very narrow, 1/8th-inch strips to work with where he strives for a brush-stroke effect. After it’s completed, he permanently secures the paint pieces with an overall dousing of polyacrylic resin.


After choosing the colors he wishes to use, he pours the paint onto a substrate that will allow him to peel it off easily once it has dried.

Next, he peels and cuts away at the dried paint to the precise sizes he wishes to use -- almost like creating mosaic tiles.

Although difficult to tell in this shot, the piece-in-progress sits on a large easel for easier access as Sikes adds design elements.

“I start out with an idea first that reflects an emotion I want the viewer to feel when looking at it,” Grey explains. “Or, maybe I’ll think about a scientific idea that could involve different dimensions and I’ll ask myself, ‘What would that look like, and how would that move?’

Someday when people see my work in an art gallery, I want them to spend more time looking at mine than any other piece. I want to give your eyes an adventure!”

And what will YOU see when gazing at his art? If you get a Van Gogh vibe, you wouldn’t be far off.

As a younger person, Grey expressed his creative self through music by playing the guitar. However, as a child he was often found doodling or playing with salvaged items. It wasn’t until he was into his 30s that he acknowledged an inner drive to create visual art and took heart from the example of Van Gogh’s life -- that it’s OK to be a late bloomer.

Grey grew up the oldest of five children and was home schooled through eighth grade. He attended a public high school and began working full-time immediately after graduation. Today he holds a job with flexible hours allowing him some opportunity to further develop his mixed media technique.

“I only wish I had listened and acted earlier on my desire to create art,” he says sounding regretful. “Time is the only thing we can never get more of and I wasted a lot of time making excuses that I couldn’t do it, ignoring the voice in my head.”

His advice to would-be artists: “Just do it!”

Please share your impressions of his work -- he’s waiting! View the three samples he’s submitted below and email him at:

"The Fourth Seal", 24" x 48"; acrylic and vinyl on Medium Density Fiber Board

"Antagonish", 25" x 37"; acrylic and mirror leaf on Medium Density Fiber Board.

"Self (Oh, My Weary Eyes)"; 12" x 12" acrylic, vinyl, and gold leaf on wood canvas.

*Grey Sikes is the artist's nom de plume.

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