Featured Artist Brennen McElhaney

Artsy Shark presents the portfolio of talented painter Brennen McElhaney. See more of his impressive work by visiting his website.


Brennen McElhaney was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Looking for a change of scenery, he studied fine art and illustration 3000 miles away at the Rhode Island School of Design. After returning to California, Brennen married Sheila Springer in 1992, and as newlyweds they had the unique opportunity to run a fine art gallery for a time.



Pursuing his fine art, Brennen went on to have one-man art shows at a number of galleries on the West Coast, establishing collectors across the USA and Europe.



During that time he served on the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Art Association. For nearly 11 years, Brennen worked as graphic illustrator / manager at Big Dog Sportswear.



In 2005, Brennen, along with his wife and their three children, relocated from California to Western North Carolina (near Asheville) where he is currently working on a series of landscape paintings of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas. He is a signature member of Western North Carolina Plein Air Painters, and is represented regionally by The Design Gallery, The Gallery at Studio B and Alta Vista Gallery.



In addition to painting, Brennen works as a freelance illustrator and as art director for Oodles World, an Asheville based entertainment and media company.



My paintings are a personal record, a visual journal of scenes that have caught my attention. My goal is to document the beauty that I see in the landscape, and create a record of my impression for others (and myself) to enjoy. My artistic process relies heavily on observation — that is to say I trust my eyes to “tell” me what to put on the canvas, how to paint it, what is important, and what is not.



Recurring subject matter in my landscapes are mountains, trees, rivers and lakes, cityscapes and architecture. My work is optimistic, reflecting a sense of contentment with my home in Western North Carolina and my appreciation of the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains.



Brennen authors an art-related blog entitled “ArtWorking”. He writes about his art and the stories behind various paintings, occasionally showing the development of works from start to finish. Some posts serve as a travel journal and include pages from his sketchbook. He also discusses self-promotion for artists, providing a detailed descriptions and examples of successful ways for artists to market their work, including portfolios and a gallery prospecting strategies.



He has been married for almost 20 years and he and his wife have three children. They don’t have a TV. They eat almost every meal together. They home-school their kids. Brennen appreciates the opportunities offered by living in the modern technological age. He enjoys discussing art and networking on Twitter and Facebook.

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