Calvin Pressley

My name is Calvin J. Pressley. My primary focus as an artist is oil painting, although I also enjoy exploring mixed media and classical drawing methods. I grew up in San Antonio and I’m a product of John Jay High school. My time studying at San Antonio College and the University of Texas in San Antonio ignited my passion for mixed media art making and classical drawing techniques. Later, I obtained my Masters in Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia before moving to Oklahoma to elevate my career as an educator. Today, I maintain my studio in San Antonio, TX.

As an educator, I’ve had the privilege of sharing my passion with students at various institutions. I’ve assisted with classes at PAFA and led studio drawing classes in the foundations program at the University of North Texas in Denton. Additionally, I’ve taught figure drawing at the University of Central Oklahoma and intro to painting classes at the Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center in Oklahoma City. Currently I’m inspiring a new generation of Artists by teaching high school art for Great Hearts Academies.

My current body of work explores the relationship between color, emotion, and storytelling. I use color to create psychological and figurative elements in my work, as well as to convey the physical texture of the paint. When I approach the canvas, I start with large color fields to map out the surface area and create interesting textures then look to the natural world f ... view more »

Work Samples (PDF)

Artist Statement of Work

Tell us about your work (style, approach, philosophy, subject and/or theme):

As an oil painter and drawer of mixed-media, I find myself continually inspired by the play of light and color on the surface of my canvases. Recently, I've turned my focus to exploring the intricate patterns and hues of various birds as a visual starting point. There's something truly captivating about the way these creatures seem to shimmer and glow in the natural light. I've been exploring ways to capture that effect in my work. For now, my birds often come from my own world. 

Though I draw from the techniques and approaches of artists who've made a name for themselves since the growth of contemporary painting, my ultimate goal is to create pieces that are approachable, thought-provoking, and visually appealing. I love to see viewers who are drawn towards their vivid colors and dynamic surfaces. With a Masters degree from America's oldest art school under my belt, I'm constantly experimenting with new techniques and approaches, pushing myself to create work that is both informed and intuitive.

Culturally Specific Art Category

Select Culturally Specific Art Category:: African American/Black Art, Native American Art


  • Gallery 1 - Calvin Pressley
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  • Gallery 5 - Calvin Pressley
  • Luv u thru the phone (2021)

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