by JUSTIN SWEITZER
A stroll through the streets of large cities may often lead passerby to discover a captivating experience in the form of spray paint art. Rather than using acrylic paints or watercolor techniques, these artists use cans of spray paint to express themselves — crafting colorful images of landscapes, figures and just about anything else they can think of. Videos of such artists have circulated social media in recent years, garnering an amazement and appreciation of spray painting as an art form.
Fortunately for Walnutport residents, they don’t have to travel to the streets of urban areas to experience this art form that has captivated audiences because Walnutport resident Bernie Kressley has created a home for it in the Blue Mountain area.
Kressley tried his hand at the medium as recently as this past winter, gaining interest from videos he saw online. He emulated the the techniques and styles of those artists, while reaching into his own interests for inspiration to create work that is uniquely his own.
“My extent of spray painting knowledge came from car models,” Kressley said. His limited experience with spray paint didn’t stop him from pursuing his latest challenge. “I learned as I went along,” he said.
His paintings feature comic book characters, picturesque sunsets, and depictions of otherworldly galaxies that he puts up for sale to those interested in purchasing. His art often reflects influences in his life, including his faith, elements from artistic role models such as H.R. Giger and Vincent van Gogh, as well as his own personal interests.
“I try to be original,” Kressley said, noting the difficulties in creating truly unique work in modern art. “I have pictures in my head and I try to get them out.”
Kressley was not a stranger to art prior to gaining interest in spray paint art. He is also a tattoo artist, musician, and acrylic painter. His interest in art came at an early age due to his interest in comics and tattoos. “I grew up walking into tattoo shops with my dad,” Kressley said. “I always felt at home with tattoos.”
Kressley’s interest with art extends across multiple mediums, and he expressed the urge to continue to experiment with new forms and styles. As far as his spray paint work is concerned, he eventually wants to make the switch from poster board to canvas, and even create mural-type work.
Kressley hopes to eventually find a studio that allows him to further sharpen his craft from the already-impressive paintings that he is currently making.
Kressley’s spray paint work, tattoos, drawings, and other artwork can be found on his Instagram page: @berniekressleyart.