Featured Artist Denis Gaston

Artist Denis Gaston creates mixed media abstract figurative paintings inspired by indigenous cultures around  the world. Visit his website to discover more of his art.


abstract mixed media figurative painting by Denis Gaston

“Fail Safe” mixed media on canvas, 30” x 42” x 1.5”


Around the age of ten I announced to my amused father, “I am going to be an artist when I grow up.” Dad, an artist himself, neither agreed or disagreed with my determined decision. He only advised to please, please, take some business courses saying, “Artists are lousy business people.”


collage and acrylic abstract figurative painting by Denis Gaston

“Isle of Man” acrylic and collage on canvas, 24” x 30” x 1.5”


Remembering his wise words, I did the next best thing and majored in commercial art at the University of Florida. I also made a point of taking many fine art studio courses, a decision that would serve me well in the future.


abstract painting of a cowboy with whiskey by Denis Gaston

“Cowboy’s Tincture” mixed media on canvas, 16” x 20” x 1.5”


After twenty years in graphic design, I took a leap into fine art painting and drawing. I have maintained a studio on Florida’s west coast since 1985.


abstract mixed media figurative painting by Denis Gaston

“Robbie Goes Rampage” mixed media on canvas, 24” x 36” x 1.5”


My inspiration comes from indigenous cultures around the world and from other artists who have also been drawn to so-called “primitive” art.


abstract figurative mixed media painting by Denis Gaston

“Luna Lover” mixed media on canvas, 18” x 24” x 2”


Masks especially fascinate me for their ability to hide one’s appearance and personality, while at the same time projecting something completely different.


abstract figurative mixed media painting by Denis Gaston

“Pappa Gant” mixed media on wood, 12” x 15” x 2”


My method of working would have to be labeled intuitive. I do not, for the most part, have any idea or image fixed in my mind. This “not knowing” allows for a lot of freedom of exploration, but can also produce hours of staring at blank canvases.


abstract figurative ink on paper by Denis Gaston

“Gentle Giant” ink on paper on wood, 19” x 24” x 2”


Those curious explorations have allowed me to paint on many different surfaces. At one time or another, I’ve created art on paper and canvas, of course, but also tar paper, sandpaper, papier mache, plastic, glass, screen, wood, stainless steel and cork.


figurative abstract mixed media painting by Denis Gaston

“Talismen” mixed media on canvas, 28” x 38” x 1.5”


Some of the resulting artworks were flops, but many turned out quite good. And the best of those now reside in private and public art collections.


abstract figurative mixed media painting by Denis Gaston

“The Final Frontier” acrylic and interference color on canvas, 48” x 48” x 2.5”


In 1989, I was honored with an Individual Artist Fellowship from the state of Florida. I’ve also had eighteen one person exhibitions and been included in dozens of group shows in galleries and art museums, including Tampa Museum of Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Polk Museum of Art, Boca Museum of Art, Leepa/Rattner Museum of Art, Florida Gulf Coast Museum of Art and Huntsville Museum of Art.


Artist Denis Gaston with “Robbie Goes Rampage”

Artist Denis Gaston with “Robbie Goes Rampage”


Whenever I find myself somewhere where I don’t want to be—stuck in traffic or in a boring lecture or doing all the tedious things that society demands—I have one overriding thought. “Soon I will be in my art studio, and then everything will be alright.”


Artist Denis Gaston invites you to follow him on Facebook and LinkedIn.


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  1. Denis Gaston is the very best and most original artist this region has!
    As an art historian with a love for contemporary art, this is putting him right up there with Dubuffet, Guston and others.

    Susanne Nielsen, PhD

  2. Karen barr Oliver says

    He is a great artist.
    I have followed his work for more than 2 decades.
    Always fascinating and new!

  3. I have collected Gaston’s for over 20 years. My love of African and precolumbian art meshes with his work instantly and effortlessly….perfectly. His work has what I call “staying power” for me many years later, they always have something new to say.

  4. Denis’s work is very creative. Love it!
    One of my favorites is at the Leepa Ratner Museum.


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