On Camera with Painter Calvin Grimm


Calvin Grimm’s paintings allow viewers a window into the enduring beauty of the natural world. His work is abstract and biomorphic, striking in its use of color and line. His canvases draw their power from Grimm’s longstanding relationship with the environment. In the 1970’s, Grimm became involved in the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as a sea-kayaking and mountaineering expedition leader in Wyoming and Alaska. His experience allowed him to facilitate young people’s understanding and appreciation of the outdoors.

Grimm believes that humans’ firsthand experience with nature is the best defense system against environmental degradation. The premise is simple: people won’t destroy what they know and care about. His work also inspires a deep regret for natural disasters that have already occurred; one painting in particular focuses on the fate of the sea creatures living in Prince William Sound in the wake of the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill, a canvas that Grimm revisited 20 years later after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Grimm’s work and his experience stand as testament to the fulfillment offered by a connection with our natural world. He notes that such a connection seems conspicuously absent in many aspects of our modern life. Hopefully, Grimm’s paintings will not only inspire us to understand and appreciate nature, but also to work towards its protection – ensuring our own flourishing in the process.

Published September 19, 2013