Art In Giving

I am happy to share that I have been chosen to be part of a select group of artists represented by Art In Giving!  Art In Giving raises funds for childhood cancer research through the sale of art.  50% of the sale of each piece goes to researchers, with $1.4 million granted to date to 10 different universities, hospitals and institutes.

It is an honor to be selected to be part of this organization! Learn more at www.artingiving.com

April Showers

It is hard to answer the question of why I paint without using over-used and non-specific words like “passion”, “drive” or “love”.  Because of the scale and detail of my paintings, they take a long time to paint – giving me plenty of time to think about things like this!

So much of my painting comes back to nature.  I feel more connected when I am outdoors… I breathe differently, I think differently, and I see differently. I was recently talking with a writing friend of mine who talked about his experience being in nature as “spiritual” – and while this term can be as over-used and non-specific as “passion”, “drive” or “love” – it fits for me.

When I teach art, one of my first lessons is always about the importance of drawing (or painting) what you see – not what you think you see.  The idea is to truly take the time to study your subject and all of the subtleties that you may miss when just noticing something instead of really seeing it.  I spend a lot of time observing, but nowhere is this more the case than when in the woods or on the water.  When I am observing, it is not so much about beautiful sunsets or grand vistas, but the amazing power and drama in the details.  It is this uncontrollable and spiritual connection I have with seeing the details of nature that makes it hard for me to not paint what I see – and ultimately what I feel.

“April Showers” is no exception.  After a delayed – and therefore prolonged- winter, I took advantage of early May weather somewhat resembling spring to get out for a short hike with my wife Gwynne, my daughter Mia and my son Beck.  As often happens on these outings, I dropped behind here and there to stop and take pictures of things that caught my interest.  One of these stops was at a small stream rushing from steady late-April rains.  At first glance, there was nothing unusual or spectacular about the stream – but I was pulled in by the amazing shapes in the reflections, and the serene yet dramatic motion created by those shapes.  The longer I spent looking (and getting further behind in the hike!), the more I was amazed by what I saw. 

Often times, I hold on to pictures for a while before I am inspired to paint them – but this time, I started painting from these pictures the next week.  “April Showers” is about awe in small things – a small stream swollen from rain reflecting countless small details that make something much larger.

Enjoy,

Jason

Sunfall

Often times when I start the process of creating a painting, I have a clear idea what the painting is about – whether it is an idea, a feeling, or something physical/visual in the image that I want to focus on.

“Sunfall”, however, evolved a little differently…

The image is from a photo I took on a camping trip with my brothers up in the Adirondacks last November.  As mentioned in other places in my blog, this is an annual trip that dates back over 20 years, when my father first took me and my older brother Matt to this spot.  My father is no longer with us, but we still go to the same site, now with all 3 of my brothers (my two younger brothers were too young for those early trips). 

What first drew me to the image was the distinctive look of the late afternoon autumn sun. As it glows on the grass in the foreground and passes through the water dancing off the rocks, it creates a scene that at the same time is both serene and full of motion.

As I painted, this remained a central theme- but I also found that the image took me to a place of reflection and celebration. I always have an emotional attachment to images taken on this trip, thinking about my late father and the importance of my brothers in my life – but this idea of loss and celebration expanded from there. With recent threats to our environment and looming cuts to the EPA, I thought a lot about my passion for the outdoors and the beauty in simple things like a mountain pond, rocks and wild grass… and whether it will be protected for future generations coming to this spot.

The title “Sunfall” is a play on “sunset” and the season “fall” – but to me is also about this idea of things waning with a hope for renewal – whether it is the day, the season, loved ones or small mountain pond.

Enjoy,

Jason

Dancing

While I love to paint water, I am also drawn to images that capture movement and pull you into a moment in time.  With “Dancing”, I wanted to celebrate the play of reflected sunlight and spinning sea-foam on the surface of the churning water – but I also wanted to celebrate the feeling of the day.  This image is inspired by photos I shot over the side of a ferry I took with my family to explore the Boston Harbor Islands.  The shots were taken at the end of a long day spent enjoying one of our last days of summer before the school year began – and I wanted the painting to reflect that feeling of holding on to the joy of late summer for just a last few fleeting moments…

Enjoy!

Jason

SOLO SHOW: "A CHANGE IN VIEW"

I am excited to share that I have a solo show, titled "A Change in View", that will be on display from September 9 through October 4.  Please join for the opening reception on September 9 from 6:00-8:00pm!  Included in this post are images of the paintings that will be displayed.

The show is hosted by Custom Art Framing & Gallery 9 (www.customartframing.com) on 45 Central Street in Norwood, MA.  The gallery hours are-  MON: 10-4, TUES-FRI: 10-6, SAT: 10-4.

To give some background behind the paintings on display, following is the artist's statement for the show:

As a native of upstate New York, Jason has always had a great passion and respect for the outdoors.  The power and drama found in the subtleties of nature inspire his work. Rather than focus on grand vistas, Jason’s paintings explore the lyrical qualities of light, shape, and color as seen from an intimate perspective.  Many of Jason’s paintings are about highlighting these qualities of nature with compelling and unique compositions; others introduce images that tell a story with a touch of mystery.

The 19 paintings exhibited in this show range from a series of 16” x 12” plein air pieces painted from a canoe on the Charles River to an epic 48” x 36” celebration of reflections on water.  

Come see the collection!:

"Ripple"  48"x36" Oil on canvas

"Ripple"  48"x36" Oil on canvas

"Last Day at the Lake"  48"x24" Oil on Canvas

"Last Day at the Lake"  48"x24" Oil on Canvas

"September Afternoon, Olson House"  30"x24" Oil on canvas

"September Afternoon, Olson House"  30"x24" Oil on canvas

"Breaking"  30"x40" Oil on canvas

"Breaking"  30"x40" Oil on canvas

"Reflection and Transparency"  30"x40" Oil on canvas

"Reflection and Transparency"  30"x40" Oil on canvas

"In Plane View"  24"x24" Oil on canvas

"In Plane View"  24"x24" Oil on canvas

"After the Storm"  16"x20" Oil on canvas

"After the Storm"  16"x20" Oil on canvas

"Summer Storm"  11"x14" Oil on canvas

"Summer Storm"  11"x14" Oil on canvas

"Stoney Creek Memory" 50"x42" Oil on canvas

"Stoney Creek Memory" 50"x42" Oil on canvas

"Walden Pond Winter"  20"x16" Oil on canvas

"Walden Pond Winter"  20"x16" Oil on canvas

"Wyeth's Path"  9"x12" Oil on canvas

"Wyeth's Path"  9"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 1"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 1"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Panting 2"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Panting 2"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 3"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 3"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 4"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 4"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 5"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 5"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 6"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 6"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 7"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 7"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 9"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 9"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 10"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

"Canoe Painting 10"  16"x12" Oil on canvas

 

Breaking

I never would have thought inspiration for a painting would come from running, but a tree on my running route has captured my attention for years.  It sits by itself and has great shapes - but it wasn't until this late spring that it made me stop mid-run and then return later with a camera.  As the tree has aged and is in the process of dying, its fantastic shapes have been accentuated by cracking bark and breaking branches.  On this crisp, clear day, the "breaking" tree created the illusion that it was also cracking the sky behind it, which was made all the more striking by the intense light of the day.  This piece is about the composition, but also about the feeling of the breaking and fracturing.  While the tree is dying, there is also a sense of drama and defiance I wanted to capture.

Enjoy, Jason

   

Ripple

As you may have seen in earlier posts, there are few things I enjoy more than being on the water. Back in November, I took my last canoe trip of the season down the Charles River, and I took more time than usual watching the reflections.  As I paused from paddling, I was mesmerized by the undulating colors of the clear, crisp blue sky, the dark greens of pines against nearly-bare grey deciduous tress and the last few leaves of the season echoing the orange of the afternoon sun reflecting off of rocks peering up from the bottom of the river.

I took a number of pictures that day - and the one that is the inspiration for "Ripple" has been in my head as this painting for the 3 months since this trip.  I chose to go large for this painting (48"x36") because I wanted the impact for viewers of the painting to mirror the impact of that day for me. I also focused on the many incredible small details to pull people in close, inviting them to get lost in the painting and spend time navigating around the distorted and moving shapes.

As I painted this, I could almost feel the boat rocking and hear the ripples slapping the boat and the shore.  I hope you share in the experience.

Enjoy, Jason

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Copley Society "New Members' Show"

As I had posted a few months ago, I was recently accepted into the prestigious Copley Society of Art, and for the next month I am part of the "New Members Show"!  The piece showing is my 30"x40" oil painting "Reflection and Transparency" (below), which is hung along with works from the other 21 members of this year's Copley Society class.

The opening was last Thursday, Jan 14 and the show is on display until February 19.  The opening had a good showing of people, and the work on display is truly impressive.  Most of all, I love meeting the other artists!

Seeing the art in person (158 Newbury Street in Boston... Tues-Sat 11-6, Sun 12-5) is absolutely the best way to experience it, but you can get a glimpse of the art in this show on the Copley Society's website: https://www.copleysociety.org/exhibitions/current/upper.html

If you couldn't make it to the opening, below are some shots from the event!

Enjoy, Jason

A Guideline for Buying Prints

I have joined up with Fine Art America to make my paintings available as prints – and the results have been fantastic!  Having seen a few of Fine Art America’s prints of my work, I have been extremely impressed by the quality of the printing and how close the match is to the actual painting… to the point where I have even purchased a print of my work for my own house!

One of the nice things about Fine Art America is the number of options they have for prints and other products – but it can also be a little intimidating to navigate.  To help, I have outlined some suggestions based on the prints I have seen. 

First, you can start from my site – right at the “prints” tab.  Here, you will see images of all the pieces available.  You can click the image you want to start the process.

Once you select the image you want, you will see on the right all of the different products available.  All of the print quality is excellent, so you can’t go wrong – but if you want the print to look as much as possible like the original, I recommend the “canvas print” (the final product looks just like a painting!).

After selecting “canvas print”, the next step is to choose the size.  Fine Art America limits the maximum size available based on the resolution of the image – so no matter what size you choose, it will be high quality.  As a result, the size is a matter of preference.  As most of the originals are larger, the bigger sizes better represent to the painting, but it is fine to go smaller to fit your budget and/or the space where you plan to hang the print.

As a next step, go ahead and skip to “canvas” (which is listed as step 3).  Here, you can select either a glossy finish canvas or a matte finish canvas.  Both options have their benefits.  The glossy finish can make the image pop a little more, but the matte finish does not have the same issues with glare that the glossy finish can have.  If you will be hanging the print in an area that gets bright light at any time of the day, I recommend going with the matte finish.

Now go back to the “frame” step, where you can say “yes” or “no” to having the print framed.  Either way can actually look great!  Depending on which you choose, it will change what you should do in the “wrap” step.  The “wrap” refers to the depth of the canvas stretcher and what is printed along the sides.

If you say “no” to the frame, I recommend the “Gallery Wrap” which is thicker than “Museum Wrap” and is a little more substantial – which is nice if you opt to not have a frame.  For most of the images, I also recommend the “Mirrored Sides” – which makes it look like the painting wraps around the edges.  The only image where this doesn’t work is “September Afternoon, Olson House”.  For this one, I would recommend the black sides to give it a nice finished look.

If you say “yes” to the frame, I recommend the “Museum Wrap” because it gives you many more frame options and reduces the cost of the frame.  The frame choices they show are a good representation of what you can expect in the final – and the quality of the frames is good!

A number of prints have recently sold (including Charles River Reflections, below), but almost all of my recent paintings are available!


Fine Art Shows in December

November 2015

Are you interested in checking out some Fine Art shows this holiday season?  I am excited to share that 13 of my oil paintings are on display in 3 different galleries (and one library) this December!

The largest collection (6 paintings) is at the Zullo Gallery in Medfield, MA.  The Zullo is a great gallery right on Main Street (Route 109) that is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00-5:00.  I was first introduced to the Zullo when my painting "Sumer Afternoon, Olson House" was accepted to their 21st Annual Juried Exhibit - which featured a large selection of works from many different artists.  As a follow-up to this show, the Zullo invited just 11 of these artists back to display work in their "Artists's Return" show - and I am honored to be one of the artists selected!.  The pieces I have in this show are "Stony Creek Memory" (below), "Summer Falling", "After the Storm", "Walden Pond Winter", "March" and "Canoe Painting 9".  As a satellite of this show, my "Summer Afternoon, Olson House" is hanging in the Medfield public library just across the green from the Zullo.  This show runs from November 21-January 10.

Stoney Creek Memory

Stoney Creek Memory

In addition to these paintings at the Zullo, I also have 4 works on display at the Copley Society of Art in Boston.  I was just accepted into the Copley Society last month, and their "Holiday Small Works" exhibit is my first opportunity to participate in one of their shows ! (stay tuned for information on the "New Member" show coming up in January).  The Copley Society is the oldest non-profit art association in the United States, and it was an honor to be accepted into their ranks.  The "Holiday Small Works" exhibit is on display until December 24 and features about 350 works -- 4 of which are a selection of my "Canoe Paintings".  Specifically, "Canoe Painting 3" (below), "Canoe Painting 4", "Canoe Painting 5" and "Canoe Painting 7" are now hanging as a group just inside the front door of the Copley Society's gallery on Newbury Street.

Canoe Painting 3

Canoe Painting 3

Finally, I also have 2 pieces in a fantastic gallery/shop called Nest in Dedham, MA.  Nest has a great selection of home goods and art, and their "December Small Works Show" is sure to fit right in.  The show starts on December 1, and I am thrilled to have "Summer Storm" and my newest painting "Past Peak" included in this collection!

Past Paek

Past Paek


I hope you have the chance to get out and see some of these paintings in the flesh!

Enjoy,  Jason

Past Peak

November 2015

As canoeing season wraps up, I had to get out one last time with my camera to capture the Charles River in late fall.  The day was a little chilly, but beautiful and sunny – so I was able to enjoy a long trip to close out a great year of paddling.

Again, I decided to spend the day taking pictures rather than painting – with the hopes of capturing some good images to paint in my studio (where it is now much warmer!).  As I paddled, the look had changed significantly since I took pictures for “Charles River Reflections”.  Almost all the leaves had dropped and the color was largely gone – but a new scene of floating and freshly submerged leaves took its place.

Once again, I got a lot of pictures – one of which is likely to be the subject of a large painting sometime soon.  For this one, though, I really wanted to focus on the patterns of pine trees and bare deciduous trees in the reflections along with the layers of sunken and floating leaves.

While the colors in the reflections are gone, I had fun with the more subdued dark colors at the bottom of the river and the washed-out light colors in the leaves drifting along the surface – as well as the story they seem to tell.

Enjoy,

Jason

Charles River Reflections

October 2015

After doing 10 of my “canoe paintings” where I was painting while crouched in the canoe, I wanted to take the same subject back into the studio.  Certainly the comfort of a roof and a stool was appealing (!), but most of all I wanted to focus more on the fine details of the incredible views I had been seeing while out paddling.

On Columbus Day, I had the chance to get my canoe out on the Charles with my son Beck paddling in the bow. It was nice to have some company, but it was definitely not the kind of day where I could spend an entire day painting.  Instead, Beck was patient with me while I stopped every 10 minutes or so to take more (and more!) pictures.

Since we were out for a couple of hours, I ended up with a lot of pictures. The image I chose from all of these shots jumped out to me because of the vivid colors and the sharp but complex and almost abstract patterns that were created by the ripples across the reflection.

In the studio, I enjoyed focusing on all of these intricate shapes and the movement they create.  I also enjoyed using colors that ended up being brighter than my usual palette.

Enjoy,

Jason

Reflection and Transparency

October 2015

After finishing “Summer Falling”, I was anxious to start another large finr art painting - and this 30”x40” canvas for“Reflection and Transparency” fit the bill.  The image I used is actually from the same backpacking trip to the Hudson River that “Summer Falling” came from, but this one has a very different feel.

For this piece, I wanted to focus more on the contrast of the reflected sky and the clear view of the bottom of the river. The title plays with both the visual reflection and transparency happening in the image, but also the feel of the painting and my experience painting it.  While I love the textures and details in the clouds reflected to the “border” of reflection and transparency created by the trees to the play of light on the bottom – I also wanted to pull viewers into the quiet, meditative space that this was for me.

Enjoy,

Jason


Summer Falling

August 2015

It’s probably no secret by now that I love painting water, but this image in particular was just screaming to me to be turned into a major painting.  I was drawn to the patterns created by the different depths of water across the rocks, and at 3 feet by 3 feet, the size helps get across the impact of the spinning, falling and churning water.  Most of all, I wanted to capture the movement of water and light in this little scene that I could have looked at all day.

I took the picture while on a backpacking trip with my son Beck, my brother Matt and my nephew Zack.  Neither Beck nor Zack had ever been backpacking before, so Matt and I decided to take them on a hike we know well from growing up in upstate New York.  The trail is just outside of Minerva, NY and leads to the Blue Ledges – which is an impressive rock cliff on the opposite side of the Hudson from the trail end.  Matt and I had hiked this many times, but had never camped at the sight – so we were excited for this trip.  While camping on the river, though, Beck and Zack were beyond excited about playing on the rocks and in the river – all around the place where I took this picture.

Because of my experiences at this site, the painting is as much about a connection to the place – both new and old- as it is about the beauty and movement of the scene itself.

Enjoy,

Jason

The Canoe Paintings

As a life-long paddling enthusiast, I have always loved the views from the seat of a canoe.  The unique perspective creates a look and feeling that is very different than images you see from any other vantage point – and one that is not typically seen unless you are in the boat yourself.

Over the winter I saw a video shot from inside a canoe that captured this feeling – which made  me eager to get back on the water myself, but even more so, I couldn’t wait to paint this viewpoint. Rather than take pictures and paint from the photos though, I decided it would be best to capture the real feeling by actually painting in the canoe!

So, since the thaw, I have spent a number of days crouched in my canoe, with my paints and canvas precariously rigged so they (so far) stay reasonably dry.  Between the motion of the boat, wrestling with weather and the impossibility of being able to comfortably sit on the floor – I discovered that I need to paint much looser than I usually do.  I have found that the result is a look that gets at the feeling of the view and the day but also the process.

My other goal was to paint a large number of these canvases with the vision of showing them all together and creating the feeling of immersion in the beautiful spaces and images of floating in a canoe.

Below are some pictures of my set-up in the canoe

Enjoy,

Jason

June Through August Showings

June 2015

If you find yourself out and about in the greater Framingham/Natick, MA area, following are two stops for an art break!

First is the “Community of Artists” exhibition at the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham.  This is their annual juried exhibit, and I am happy to share that one of my pieces was selected.  My 30”x24” oil painting “September Afternoon, Olson House” (below) is one of over 100 works on display.  The opening was June 6th, so I had the chance to see the full collection in person – and it is definitely worth the trip.  The artists represented are mostly from this area, and the exhibit includes works in a wide of variety of media, sizes and styles.

 The next stop is Gallery 55 in Natick, where three of my paintings are on display! (below).  The Gallery was founded by photographer and art supporter/enthusiast John Mottern, and as a result, there is always an interesting collection of art on display. In addition to art, the space also features jewelry crafted by the talented silversmith John Harwood. 

 



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March

April 2015

While I painted this in April, the image is from a photo I took last month - and the fact that it is still in the 30’s and rainy here in Norfolk, MA made it easy to stay in that March frame of mind!

 My choice for the title – simply “March” – is inspired by the feeling of the image.  To me, this scene screams all that is both great and grueling about the month that supposedly kicks off spring. The actual subject of ice and pond-muck is suitably unglamorous for a time dominated by gloomy weather and half-melted greys and browns… but more importantly, I love the feeling of hope to this image; hope that winter is finally coming to a close, hope that the sun will indeed make it through. 

In Plane View

March 2015

Between my commissioned jobs, I am continuing to fill out my portfolio of fine art paintings.  The most recent is “In Plane View”, which is painted from memory.  This is a picture that I have had in the “future paintings” queue in my head for several years. 

I don’t enjoy flying much, but the amazing change of perspective is one of the few saving graces of being trapped in an airplane.  I have seen many spectacular views from the air over the years, but this one in particular stuck with me.  The plane was a little closer to the ground than usual, and the endless lush green drew me in.  As I was watching the mountains pass under me, my eye stopped on a road carved along the top of one of the ridges.  It was so out of place with the rest of the scenery that it looked like a wound in the landscape.

In painting this I wanted to capture the unique perspective, the hazy look of the atmosphere, the serene beauty of the scene and the jarring feeling of the mountain road. 

Summer Storm

February 2015

In addition to my commissioned work, I am putting together a collection of my own paintings to do a show this spring or summer (assuming winter ends?!).  You will be able to look for paintings like “September Afternoon, Olson House”, “Walden Pond Winter” and my newest painting “Summer Storm”.

This painting is inspired by a camping trip with my good friends Steve and Joe a few years ago in upstate New York.  As it seems to be the norm with me and camping, this trip was made more eventful by torrential down-pour.  At one point, the three of us sat under a makeshift lean-to while so much water poured in around us we had to lift our feet to keep them out of 6-inch deep puddles.

When the storm cleared in the evening, though, we were treated with some of the most spectacular views we have seen.  This painting is a combination of my memory and several different shots.  What I wanted to capture most was the clouds that looked like they were alive – climbing and swirling.  The silhouettes of the trees seemed to join in with the climbing and swirling shapes, while the light made everything look like it was on fire. 

Rain or not, going back to these summer images was a nice escape from our never-ending snow storm. 

After the Storm

February 2015

Was it really just 2 weeks ago that I wrote about wanting snow for some good winter images? Now that we have about 4 feet on the ground (with more falling as I write this), I certainly got what I asked for!

After shoveling out from our first big storm, I spent the better part of the day trudging through the woods with my camera.  It was a perfect day for enjoying snow views, with an untouched covering over everything and bright sunlight creating fantastic shadows.

While I definitely appreciate the beauty of grand vistas, I typically find myself drawn to the drama of smaller, more “every day” scenes.  I took a lot of pictures in my trek, but it was the patterns in this one that grabbed my attention.  The repeating shapes in the snow and shadows, the branches and the background trees and clouds are what make this scene something that I enjoy looking at again and again.

For those of you who will be shoveling out again today, I hope this helps you to enjoy the views as you dig out!