Owner . Artist . Educator
As a native Californian, Gretchen Grunt was looking for an adventure in the arts and began her education at Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo. The artistic exploration took hold in all medium: figure drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpting and bronze casting.
In 1995, Gretchen graduated with Distinction from Sonoma State University after intensive study in the traditional printmaking methods of etching and lithography, instructed by Kirt Kemp and Shane Weare.
Upon graduating, she returned to San Luis Obispo and became an active member in the San Luis Artists' Gallery in the historic Creamery. The Creamery is where Gretchen directed the painting of a mural that still exists today.
In August 2003, her creative evolution began by leaving the coast to return home to 29 Palms, where she established the 29 Palms Creative Center & Gallery.
As the Creative Center blossomed, Gretchen rejoined the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council (MBCAC), Board of Directors. The MBCAC is the lifeline to the thriving community of artists in the Morongo Basin by participating in the Annual Hwy 62 Art Tours and enjoying the active artist community.
Gretchen expresses creativity in a wide range of mixed media: clay, painting, printmaking on or off the etching press, wood burning, collaging & bookmaking. As well as, shares her creativity by teaching children, adults, schools, scouts, and lots of homeschoolers.
With the Griffin Etching Press, she makes unique prints from simple monotypes to complex combinations of traditional processes: drypoints, stencils, collage elements, etchings, and linoleum cuts. On canvas, the brush-strokes have emerged in striking colors using the surrounding desert landscape for inspiration. Gretchen keeps learning new techniques, such as burning wood to prepare a drawing for an encaustic painting and sculpting in clay to to throw unique vases!
Convinced the desert environment and its community are a source of inspiration, Gretchen donates 3% of her art sales to the Mojave Desert Land Trust to give thanks for the support.
CLICK HERE to read Gretchen's teaching philosophy.