With a birth name as strong and prominent as “Abraxas,” one might expect great accomplishments throughout their life. Fortunately, the Milton artist who goes simply by that first name is fulfilling those achievements, sharing his amazing skills.
Abraxas will return this year for his second appearance in the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival — an event that brought him much satisfaction in last year’s debut.
“The experience has been great,” he said. “You never know where your next available contact will come from until you get out there.”
Art has been with Abraxas as long as he can remember, and at a youthful 31 years of age, it would appear that he will be continuing his knack for decades to come. “I’ve been doing this all my life,” he said.
Once in school, his work was quickly appreciated, and he gained state-wide recognition and awards. By the age of 15, he began entering art shows.
“People started noticing my work, and it just snowballed,” he said. Local collectors began purchasing his work, then others.
Painting has been in his blood since he was born. His grandmother and great-grandmother both expressed their talents through watercolors. Abraxus has attempted a multitude of artistic media, but finds his forte through oils and sketches. In fact, many of his finished oil pieces began as sketches.
His fascinating ability to capture the splendor of nature that few are able to see is apparent through meticulous detail and uncanny realism in his work. “I like to think that my style comes from my knowledge of how nature and light and shadow work.”
A peaceful nook for his studio in his Milton home suffices for his work, but, most times, Abraxus prefers to work with a view. “I try to paint on location as much as possible,” he said. “When I was younger, I would just get in my truck, grab my easel and tent and head out.”
Abraxas was born and raised in the Lewes and Milton area, and the Delaware shore has allowed him to segue into the realm of painting seascapes, which have caught many an eye worldwide.
“Over time, I’ve really tried to study how light reflects off of the water,” he said. The majority of his seascapes depict an early-morning sunrise or a calming sunset on a watery horizon. “The water really seems to glow early in the day or late in the evening, and I try to represent that.”
However, he has been known to tackle almost every scene he can find, from macro-artwork and portraits to still-life and floral scenes. “I like to keep my mind fresh,” he said. “I enjoy the freedom to paint whatever I come across.”
Abraxas’ passion has taken him nationwide, through the Caribbean, over to California, and even up to the western coast, where he graduated from the New Renaissance Academy in Freeland, Wash., in 1993. With the exception of North Dakota, Abraxas has traveled to every state in the continental United States.
“I go to great lengths to make my reproductions as exact as possible to the original thing. Whatever I do, I try to duplicate what nature has to offer.”
Although he has jumped between three and four projects at a time, Abraxus said he typically stays with a single project upon which he can focus all his attention. “It’s kind of like a brain exercise, like flipping channels when you have multiple works going on,” he said, “but I’ll do either. It depends on what kind of work it is.”
A smaller sketch or oil project could take under a week, while, for his larger accomplishments, months may be devoted before it’s completed.
Art has engulfed his life, though Abraxas said he enjoys every moment.
“I never thought I’d be painting for a living,” he said. “It’s just something I like to do. I love being outside and on the beach.”
When not occupied in front of his canvas, Abraxas spends his time along the shore, kayaking, skim-boarding and recently, surfing. “It’s a really good balance. I can clear my head and get out there and get some exercise.”