Fred H. Griffin (July 9, 1931 - April 23, 2011)
"To do it is not to learn it. To do it again and again is the learning process."
"I am the Fantasy Archeologist. The investigator of the visible. My paintings tie together years of metamorphic work that range from seed pods to whole orchestrated walls each part of a series celebrating Nature’s magical glimpses. The jewel-like hints that mean a vast untapped treasure lies within the earth’s surface. The archeologist begins to brush aside the surface to get to the source. I want to give the viewer the excitement of that moment - to give him the desire to uncover - peel away - to draw him through my paint strokes and surface edges. I want each viewer to feel the fascination when a glowing fossil has been unearthed. I want him to begin to read the romance of the painting."
~ Fred H. Griffin
There were no idle moments in Fred Griffin's Creative life. His spare time was filled with hunting and selecting materials for his work, whittling and sketching or just making marks that snowballed into designs, assemblages and paintings.
Fred Griffin majored in art studies at the University of Washington for four years; then attained his B.A. from Chouinard Art Institute, now California Institute for the arts, in Los Angeles, majoring in design and motion picture production. Griffin was an instructor, painter and artist. He, like his work, has been described as daring, experimental, whimsical, and fascinating -- always coming up with a unique perspective or combination of media. He created with fragments he collected during his wanderings as well as other non-traditional media such as mustard, tea, paper plates, driftwood and rope.
His many showings included the Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Gallery in Bellevue, The Sanders Gallery in Seattle, The Northwest Art Exchange in La Conner and the Skagit Valley College Foundation Gallery.
His work has been accepted in many regional exhibitions, including the 1991 Puget Sound Country Show at the Enck Gallery in Bellevue, the 1992 Annual Puget Sound Area Exhibition at the Charles and Emma Frye Museum in Seattle and the Bellevue Art Museum 10/40 Anniversary Celebration.
Griffin juried for both the Seattle and Washington State Arts Commissions, the Seattle Art Museum and Edmonds Art Festival.
Griffin had a life-long passion for teaching, which began in 1960 as a faculty member of the Burnley School of Professional Art, and later became The Art Institute of Seattle, where he continued to work until 2010. He also taught at Bellevue Community College and Cornish College, Seattle.
Griffin is well-known for his "Design Code" -- a simple cross-reference for navigating through the process of design. His ideas and teachings have influenced many top designers during his 50 years as teacher and mentor.
Paintings exhibited steadily since 1958 and presented in over a hundred regional shows, including the following:
Fred Griffin owned a design business since 1959, performing design and consultant services for printed matter and motion picture storyboards for a number of Seattle firms and individuals.
Northwest artist and graphic design instructor, taught at Burnley School of Professional Art & Art Institute of Seattle from 1960 - 2010. His work was shown in many Northwest galleries throughout his career.
"Forty-five years of agile jousting, researching, and collaborating with the focus and discipline of a surgeon, Fred Griffin's passion for design education moves interminably forward… Embracing Fred's Design Code has a time-release quality. Sooner or later awareness detonates."
~ Marilyn Nordell, on Fred's 45th anniversary with Burnley/Seattle Art Institute