The Garden Collection: Acrylic Paintings

Artist Statement

My most recent addition, The Garden Collection, was created as a symbol of growth and new beginnings. Using a bright and vibrant palette that represents my personality, my flowers imply movement whether they are dancing or simply meditating. Over the past ten years, I’ve learned to loosen up, not only in my personal life, but in my technique as well. I always thought every detail had to be perfect. When I couldn’t get a painting perfect, I would paint over it and start again. This was the first collection that I worked a little more loosely and had fun with paint. I discovered that I enjoyed the abstract process and realized that having images appear imperfect can be perfection. I still stayed true to my old style, in the sense of painting representationally. The focal points are more detailed than the rest of the painting.

These images represent various aspects of my life. For example, Long Stem Wedding was my first of the collection. I painted it to celebrate my relationship with my wife. While I was deployed to Iraq, my mother would always bring in pictures of me to her work and set them on her desk. My soon-to-be wife would always ask her to introduce us when I got home, and the rest is history. Through thick and thin, we finally tied the knot after five years. I guess you could say my mom hooked us up. Thanks, Ma!

There is so much hatred in the world today. Whether it’s racial issues, political or religious war, I think we can agree it’s very sickening. Is it possible to just be? Does everything need a label? These flower-people send a message of peace and love. They remind us that we are all beautiful flowers and that coexistence is possible.

Love saved my life. I looked everywhere to find it, but I finally found it in myself. We never know how much longer we have on this earth. Tomorrow was never promised. Be yourself, be GREAT!


Christian Gabriel was born in Amityville, NY in 1984. A war veteran who struggled with PTSD, he found his outlet through painting. After going to local art shows, he became inspired & his monochromatic world turned colorful. He went on to study media arts & animation at the Art Institute of Las Vegas, where he earned his Bachelors in 2013. After college, Christian gained professional experience working at a high-volume fine-art production company. This fall, Christian looks forward to helping start a veterans’ art program at the Oregon Society of Artists in Portland, Oregon.