Justin Clayton: Light, Ethereal Oil Paintings

By Lisa Orgler in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Can a work of art be strong and grounded, while also being light and ethereal? Apparently so, because Justin Clayton continually combines these two opposing ideas into absolutely stunning oil paintings.

Justin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University then studied traditional art at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art and the California Art Institute. His paintings range from emotional figures to dynamic landscapes and lovely food images.

All of his pieces have a light, subtle character all their own, but as you’ll see, today I’ve decided to focus just on his delectable food images.


Justin confesses a desire to record life’s beauty in simplistic terms, and does so, at least as far as composition is concerned. His intricate brushstrokes, however, mixed with a range of soft hues, lend both a realist and impressionist feel to his work.

It’s an intelligent choice, really, since such a straightforward compositional approach allows the viewer to appreciate his painterly technique, as well as his detailed, engaging subjects.


Overall, light is really Justin’s favorite subject matter. It seems his subjects are carefully chosen not necessarily for what they are but for how they preserve and create luminosity. In addition, Justin often paints with a limited color palette. . . yet there’s a visible radiance in his work that always shines through.


And of course, let’s not forget the ethereal nature of these alluring paintings. Justin’s strong brushstrokes not only capture the light, but also give a dynamic energy and shape to his subjects. It’s always amazing when an artist has seemingly loose, broad strokes, yet the end result is still a beautifully detailed, grounded painting.

I encourage you to visit Justin’s website to see more of his paintings, or check out his painting process at his new blog, The Painter’s Box.


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