Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jeff Wilson

The beaches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina are a constant source of inspiration for my paintings. It is no wonder that man first learned to fly there. Everything seems to be flying there; sand, sea, clouds and sometimes even rooftops. It is the windiest place I know. It seems in perpetual motion, a world of waving grasses, pounding waves, and shifting shadows. I have vacationed and painted there for over twenty years. Almost every painting in this exhibit was started there. It has been my Arles.I have always considered myself more a painter than an artist, if I may make that distinction. An artist is one who makes a statement about society or human nature or about himself/herself; I am more concerned with using paint in response to what I see. I am a realist painter. I marvel at paints ability to render figures and objects and to create atmosphere, mood and drama. Most of all, I am a painter of light. But what makes me an artist is that I am a recreator. I take in what I see and watch it appear on the easel new and changed. The painting becomes a vision fused with my ideas, moods and memories, transformed by my skills and limitations. It is influenced by other painters I see and study, the music I listen to, my physical comfort or discomfort and the perseverance and dedication I give to my intension. It is this aspect of my artwork, never knowing exactly what will transpire, that keeps me motivated and intrigued.Many of the works in this show are the result of a continuing investigation into painting on copper panels. Many artists over the years have experimented with this substrate, including Rembrandt, Goya, El-Greco and Chardin to name just a few. It has significantly changed both my approach to painting as well as the finished works. My paint application uses thin glazes and the paintings have a smoothness that is the inherent nature of the copper panel. Copper also lends an illumination to the work where the warm tones of the metal are allowed to peek through the thin paint layers. I also like to employ an etching technique of drawing into the wet paint that also reveals the warm copper ground.My employment at the National Gallery of Art in the Design and Installation Department has also been a tremendous source of inspiration for me and my art. Working so closely with some of the greatest art of the ages has given me a first hand insight into the lessons and techniques of arts great masters.

No comments: