The Refined Rawness of Rocky Norton

Stone. Metal. Wood. Paint.

Sitting in a studio or pulled to the side of the road, just off a busy freeway, Rocky Norton is driven by the force to create breathtaking pieces that collide with equal parts ghostly and imposing. The effect is stunning, as pastels and bold colors create a dreamscape that unfolds from his imagination. Norton is self-described as “refined with an uneducated rawness leaning on a genie’s magic.”

This is exactly what he creates when wielding a paintbrush, raw refined magic. When you look at him, he is a dominating force… commanding the air about him with a playful grin sloppily lounging from his lips. He is a mirror image for his creations and a juxtaposition of creative energy. His lines are often rough and rugged, jerking across his canvas with slashed and smart curves. The lines, often not classically rendered, add to the magic of it all. Individually, when dissected, his images are harsh and abrasive. However, when combined with his fluid gestures and contrasting colors, magic certainly does take place. He takes great care with each piece, working meticulously while expertly producing dreamscapes with a borderline obsessive care.


Norton’s process is almost fanatical, working on multiple projects are once, “I paint three things in a day, while steel is cooling and stain is drying.” His compulsive need to create can be seen in the many projects he completes, which are not just confined to painting. He works with a range of mediums that includes paint, metals, and wood to create furniture and commissioned pieces for homes and coffee shops. Each medium he touches twists and turns, bending to his will. Each piece leaves you wanting to devour more, filling you with that magnetic, captivating, and often contagious buzz that his works exude.

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