Grace Howl


Grace Howl – BIO

Grace was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She was kicked out of art class in 2nd grade because she refused to stay within the lines and wanted the leaves on her tree to be orange, red and purple the vibrant colors she saw in the fall instead of green the teacher demanded. She never had an interest in art after that experience. 

Grace relocated to Florida in 1981. Her background was corporate from 1976 until December 2007. After a life altering incident, the Universe was kind and lit up her right brain with creativity as she had never experienced before in her life. 

Grace awoke a different person, verbalization was difficult, she didn’t recognize her face in the mirror; however, she saw images, forms, colors and visualized the world in a completely new way. For Grace, abstract art became her new language; it replaced the concrete, colors replaced words and boundaries. She let go of inhibition and trusted her intuitive spirit to evolve her creative process and to convey her interpretation of life and storytelling. Grace uses acrylic paints, graphite, sand, texture mediums, pencils, markers, pens, dye inks, collage, oil sticks, tools and more when creating, to achieve results that she believes convey what she wants to express. All of Grace’s paintings are authentic and one-of-a-kind, bold, bright, colorful, deeply intriguing, and mysterious. 

Grace has maintained a studio in Sarasota since 2011. Howl’s work can be found in numerous ‘private’ and corporate collections such as One Sarasota Tower; Sabal Palm Bank; Lutz, Bobo, Telfair, P.A.; ICORR Properties International.  

Noteworthy writing about Grace Howl’s paintings:

Mark Ormond, Curator/Art Historian wrote: “Grace Howl is centered, inventive and meditative. Her work is ambitious. She says her art is not about perfection. She does not care about mistakes. Howl revels in her process and is confident in the possibilities. Her work reflects this optimism. Howl is the rare artist who trusts her intuition completely. She allows and even encourages the viewer to enter into a conversation with her paintings and return to them again and again always learning something new from the exchange. Her work appears timeless, fluid, suspended. It is as if Howl has some awareness of past civilizations that we shall discover in the future. She subconsciously mines her psyche finding the images, symbols, or forms that we see in her paintings. She has grasped a new understanding of space and time. Her approach to painting is uniquely personal.” 


Kevin Costello, Art History Teacher, Lecturer, Artist: “The spontaneous rapid gestural strokes of Grace Howl’s paintings use architectural rigor and geometric/biomorphic tropes such as the implied cross of a city’s intersection seen from above.  This is particularly the case in her recent “Urban Series.  At times she appropriates the magical world, the symbolic language of pre-industrial cultures like the petroglyphs of Native Americans and Australian Aboriginals. The palettes of these works make use of the full spectrum of color – some are earth tones with white, others an organic fusing of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors with no tint or tone. Having established these broad outlines in her compositions, the sympathetic observer adopts a seemingly narrative eye while scanning an essentially abstract painting.  On a subliminal level, the viewer at first sight might see what appears to be a smudge or accidental blotch, but on further scrutiny the psychic energy of the work is found in the interplay of the abstract gesture and the subtle narrative detail imbedded in the paintings scrumbled passages. In one of her paintings, what appears at first glance to be a black expressionist series of marks becomes on close inspection to be a detail of the erotic Hindu bas-reliefs on the Khajuraho Temple in India.  Howl’s paintings display inexhaustible emotional energy contained by the dimensions of the canvas. She locks in this energy by contrasting volatile line and dramatic figure/ground relationships -- thus disguising these narrative tropes (visual metaphors) as random expressive markings. She says, “I am in the moment” when painting -- “In the zone” when these ancient archetypes arise and conjoin with expressionism. They are bold eclectic confabulations that for the time you stand before them take us back to the personal, universal world, of magical thinking.”                   

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