My first foreign destination was England. Over a year later, and after at least 25000 miles, I returned to the States. After the gales of Wellington, the Newcastle earthquake in eastern Australia, 120 F heat and three day storms full of bulldust in the Outback, the jungles of the Malay, Thailand’s Songkran water festival, and strolls through Venice, Munich, and Paris, an English Bitter in a Birmingham pub never tasted so good. I had become a traveler. This began my goal to paint the natural landscapes and people of each continent, save Antarctica (although I resign nothing to impossibility). I focus on whatever impacts me and infix this force into my work. Since my first trip, I’ve painted further in Asia: the Philippines, Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and Hong Kong’s Lantau Island; Central America: Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica; and South America: Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. I’ve spent roughly two decades painting Asia and Central and South America. I hope another decade each will be spent in Africa, Central Asia, and a final tour of North America. I continued to work in North America through the 90's and have made numerous sketches throughout my travels.
My vision is to create a whole and unified collection of my artwork representing the entire world. Each piece is a part of the whole, and while complete in itself, is part of a greater scheme. I do not sell my paintings for this reason. The collection must be kept together otherwise my vision of the world and its validation, through my artwork, will be lost.
I do not reproduce my works in any alternate form whatsoever. They should be seen as they were first created. I realize mine is not the only way. Nor is mine necessarily the right way. What is important is that my art represent my experience and vision as truly and essentially as possible. I never try to embellish my work or make it a feel good illusion.I hope this can become a place where other travel painters, travelers, artists, and those who explore all quarters of life, can exchange stories, information, advice, and encouragement to others who are journeying down similar paths. I know it’s a hard and difficult path. There’s constant struggle along the way. But every step forward is an achievement, and what a grand journey it’s been.
My next destination is Africa. Of particular interest to me are the animals of the Serengeti, the Nile, and Hemingway’s plane crash near Murchison Falls. I also believe General Patton said something like, "All plans go out the window when feet hit the ground." I would have it no other way.
Gregg Fretheim currently resides in Bloomington, MN, USA.