About Jason Galeener, the Artist

Bottles Collage Early Career

Artistic Beginnings

Art didn’t come into my life until my late-40s. As an addict in recovery, I recognized how much fear plays an unhealthy role in my life. Fear holds me back from being vulnerable, being honest, and pushes me to be perfect so I won’t fail. It sucks! So I was looking for ways to stretch my comfort zone, and since I can’t sing and I can’t dance, I thought “What the hell?” and took up art. Having never done anything artistic in my life, I jumped into the shallow end and started dotting beer bottles. I had seen something like this on a full-size canvas at the Seattle Art Museum and it looked cool and easy, and since beer bottles were available/cheap, I had a place to start. I used the tips of screws to apply the paint.

"If you hear a voice within you say, 'You cannot paint,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."

First Abstract Painting

I started painting canvases because my wife goes bat-shit every December and buys Christmas decorations for around the house. We take down the art that normally hangs in our living room and replace it with cheap stuff from TJ Maxx and Kohls. I thought I could do better. That’s when I created my first abstract painting and I painted the diptych on the right. This is silly, but simply adding paint to a canvas is scary for me. What if I fuck it up? What if it isn’t any good? In this case, I thought it came out pretty great, and that made me want to create more art for non-Christmas times of year, so I started watching YouTube videos and slapping more paint on canvas.



Addiction Isn’t All Bad

Painting for me is a constant battle with perfectionism. Do I try to get perfect lines in my geometric work? How many times am I willing to paint over a canvas until I am happy with it? Addiction, for all of it’s faults, also brings benefits. I can focus on a piece for hours at a time. I can envision/fantasize a piece in my head until I can see it clearly in advance. The embarrassment of something that isn’t perfect drives me to practice until I get it right.

Even now, a couple of years later, painting still takes me out of my comfort zone, but it also calms me down, brings me joy, helps me focus on something healthy, and allows me to replace addictive behaviors with something infinitely more positive.

Selling My Art

I began selling my art for the same reason most artists start selling their work: so they can afford more supplies and create more art. I only sell pieces that I would buy. If I wouldn’t buy it, it generally gets painted over or tossed. I am a people-pleaser at heart, so sharing a new piece of art with someone brings me incredible joy.

The first gallery I approached was the Art Center Gallery in Mission Viejo and I got in! This was about as an exciting moment as I have had as an adult. I’m also selling at local art fairs like the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, the Hermosa Beach Fine Arts Festival, and hopefully Beverly Hills in October.