David Groenjes

I have loved art, in many forms, from as long ago as I can remember.  I recall telling my parents at a young age that “I want to be an artist when I grow up” not really knowing what that would mean for my future.  As a child my primary interests consisted of drawing, nature, toy cars, and building block creations. I have memories of sitting in my grandparents living room pouring over their ‘Birds Of America’ book and drawing pictures of my favorite birds.  In school, art class was always the highlight of my day. While in other school classes, the margins of my notebooks were being filled with elaborate drawings and sketches of things I wished I was doing.

As I grew older my interests in toy cars and building blocks moved to full size vehicles.  I am a self-taught mechanic and welder. Most of my metalwork skills have been learned while working on various vehicle restoration projects over the years.  I began to realize that my love of restoring and working on cars had more to do with the creative process of the restoration and work involved than the actual car itself.  I saw it as an opportunity to put my own personal artistic touches into a vehicle. Scrap pieces of metal and discarded car parts became objects that could be turned into a piece of art.

My first noteworthy piece of metal sculpture was inspired by a set of Caribou antlers that I brought back from an Alaskan fishing trip.  I wanted a unique way to display the antlers and chose to make a life size model of a Caribou out of steel to mount them on. I surprised myself with the finished product and realized I may have found a unique ability that I was not aware of.  Most of my metal sculpture is inspired by nature and animals. When representing an animal in a sculpture I pay particularly close attention to the proportions of the animal, muscle structure, and fine details. All these traits play a significant role in making a piece that appears alive and ready to fly, leap, or run away at a moment’s notice.

I fully realized my potential as an artist in 2017 through encouragement and support from my family.  This rekindled spark in my soul has been a strong driving force giving me a newfound faith in life as well as allowing me to be a better husband, father, and friend to those I love.  Being an artist is more than just a title or an occupation. Being an artist is a passion, a driving force, and a way of life, and I would not have it any other way.