Clay Wagstaff is a Utah based artist with a restless spirit for travel. Reflected in his travels is a diversity of landscapes which range from those of mountain ranges, coastal seascapes, moonscapes, and ambiguous locals. There is a quiet sober drama that asserts itself within the structured, unsentimental worlds which he creates.
Painting primarily in oils on panels, he creates paintings with a technique which he has developed over the years. “I use a layering technique: a layering of ideas, a layering of meaning, and a layering of the paint”, he says. An interesting element to the artist’s work, is that he embeds his paintings with conscious traces of his painting process. This is evidenced by exposed grids or lines that are allowed to show through the paint, and which harmonize with the composition. There is a relationship which is set up of “order and control”, against the naturalness of nature. This is all the more heightened when one steps away from his work. Much attention is given to detail in areas, while at the same time allowing for expressive, artistic overtones. Wagstaff is skillfully able to strike a chord between that which is perfect, and that which is flawed. Whatever it is he paints, it is his skill and fresh take which results in works which are original, straightforward, and sophisticated. The artist has received numerous awards for his work, and was the recipient of the “ Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed grant”.