It felt surreal driving past ripening orange trees only minutes before reaching the base of Mount Baldy in Angeles National Forest last week. The shift in landscape was immediate, and as I stumbled through rocks blanketed with fresh snow, with one of my favorite artists and brother beside me, I had to take a moment to recognize how unbelievably thankful I was to begin the New Year with this incredible adventure. The weather was brisk; with a high of 19 degrees and a frosty 25mph wind chill, Jeff and I looked at each other and knew we had better make this photoshoot quick.
Jeff’s sense of adventure, intense curiosity for the world, and the individual’s journey within it, charge his canvases with deep, emotional resonance, and breathtaking balance. Whether it is floating ships constructed from blowing eucalyptus leaves, or a hummingbird resting on the edge of a feather, we are consistently reminded of the immense fragility of life, as well as our deep desire to establish and maintain a sense of equilibrium in this often unstable world.
I am humbled and honored by Jeff's acceptance to be interviewed for the website and beyond thrilled to share a glimpse into his life with you all. Enjoy.
Hmmmm..... not sure I have a favorite. But a rich, dark red would be really close....
Least Favorite Color?
Least…..damn, that’s tough. I used to completely dismiss pink but now I like it. This will all change tomorrow anyway.
A big slab of fresh berry pie. Lordy.
LEAST FAVORITE DESSERT?
Least? I have no idea what to say.
Favorite thing to wear?
My painting clothes. Hands down. End of statement.
Least FAVORITE THING TO WEAR?
A Tie. Can’t do it. Hell, won’t do it.
Favorite painting tool?
A good brush that I haven’t beaten to crap. They’re remarkable tools……
Least favorite painting tool?
I really only use brushes. The quality range is dramatic so if you get bad ones, they throw you off.
Favorite spot in the world?
The Scottish Highlands. I’ve never felt the feeling I get there anywhere else. I get goose bumps just writing this.
Least favorite spot in the world?
A strip mall on a hot August day in So Cal….
Favorite (personal) moment in nature?
Too many to mention. Watching a leaf blow in the wind, I can feel that everything is all worthwhile so I can’t remember one event as a favorite. Nature is where my eyes really open up.
Least favorite (personal) moment in nature?
When I worked the carnival, many years ago, we often had to tear down the show in the rain. I probably enjoyed Mother Nature the least at those times…….
A big old sunflower that you’ve coaxed along to full bloom.
Least FAVORITE FLOWER?
Probably “Pillars Of The Earth” by Ken Follitt.
Least FAVORITE BOOK?
Whatever it was, I’ve forgotten….I read a lot and if it’s crap, I don’t continue…….
“Zorba The Greek”
LEast FAVORITE MOVIE?
Right now it’s the latest “Godzilla”. I still want my money back!
Walking. In all it’s varieties…..solo, with Jan, morning, afternoon…….so many ideas for paintings have come from walking...great therapy even if you don’t need it.
LEAST FAVORITE ACTIVITY?
car care and bill paying….neck and neck
Favorite Time Period?
I can’t help but be intrigued by the really ancient times…...not really historical times but before things were written down. But for having available information for learning, the Renaissance, with the art and science has a strong hold…...but wondering what people thought about, talked about, did with their days forty thousand years ago is damned interesting….
Least favorite time period?
I don’t have a least favorite time period...not that I’ve ever considered anyway….
No thoughts here at all. Sorry
I listen to classical music 95% of the time…..I tune into KUSC most of the day….it has a great capacity to let me think and work in a really productive way. It’s encouraging somehow, like a partner…..
Least Favorite music?
I really don’t know what’s out there anymore so I don’t know what my least favorite is. But I know I don’t listen to it.
Favorite art movement?
It’s tough to say. Certainly the art of the Renaissance but Surrealism knocked me out as a lad and led me to so much more. But the Renaissance wasn’t a movement so I’d go with Surrealism…..so many hours as a boy pouring over books…..that was my art education.
Least favorite art movement?
Pop art always bored the piss out of me. That’s my least favorite. At least right now.
Favorite trip you have taken?
In the years we’ve been together, Jan and I have had some great trips…...I had a lot of traveling years before I met Jan but our trips together have been great. We rambled around Britain for six weeks once in a weeee little car…...and though we’ve been back often, that trip left a deep lasting feeling. Saw the Scottish Highlands for the first time on that trip…..
Least favorite trip you have taken?
Travelling is whatever comes at you and how you deal with it so no least favorite comes to mind….maybe I’ve been lucky…...
Favorite New Years Resolution?
Never make them.
Favorite Job? (You have had)
I enjoyed my carnival years tremendously. But I’ve always done manual labor type work to support my painting and a lot of those were throw away jobs…..
Least favorite job? (YOU HAVE HAD)
worked in a factory making brake shoes for railway cars…...just wasn’t cut out for it…...lasted maybe two days…..
Favorite board game/ childhood toy?
Scrabble, love it. And I loved my tall rabbit.
Least Favorite board game/ childhood toy?
Don’t play board games except Scrabble and can’t remember a least favorite toy…...that was a long time ago.
Favorite moment of your life so far?
Well hell, there are a lot of great fullfilling moments….when you hit my age, it’s hard to pluck one out as the best…...but it probably is the moment it dawned on me that I wanted to be an artist…..waiting for English class in 9th grade. I can still feel it…..
Least Favorite moment?
It’s a Friday, no money for rent or food, two little kids, a wife and there’s nada because I’m an artist.
Favorite Month of the year?
October, a sense of change with Autumn in the air and it just sounds good..
Least favorite Month of the year?
August. Too many years of hot smog hell growing up in So Cal.
Favorite frustration with painting?
I need a Scotch just to figure out what this question means….let me ponder this set for a couple of years.
Favorite work you have created?
I’m fortunate to feel 100% fulfilled with a large number of my pieces…...and I’ve never given any thought to a single one being the favorite…...I don’t think I could.
Least favorite work you have created?
Well, there have been a number of bad paintings and when they happen, I cut them up and throw them away. So my least favorite is one of those…...
Favorite way to end an interview?
Being presented with a bottle of excellent Scotch for answering these questions in such a thoughtful and honest way…..
Least favorite way to end an interview?
Having to prattle on about what a pleasure it’s been and I hope I you can use some of this…..