Tuesday, January 26, 2010

REFLECTED, REFRACTED OR FILTERED LIGHT







Self Portrait
Oil On Panel
Collection of the Artist
Images from jefflarson.net


Dad
Oil On Panel
Collection of the Artist
From jefflarson.net


Grandpa Gene
Oil On Panel
Collection of the Artist
From jefflarson.net


Larson Family Portrait
Oil on canvas
From jefflarson.net

From jeffreytlarson.com
Jeffrey T. Larson is a native of Minnesota’s Twin Cities. As a child Jeff resolved to be an artist. Four years of intense study at Atelier Lack in Minneapolis were followed by museum study in the U.S. and abroad. Firmly grounded in the methods and materials of the Old Masters, he has adapted these techniques through his own imaginations and perceptions.
In 1989, Jeff and Heidi Larson purchased a 7,500 square foot school in Northwest, Wisconsin. Emptied by declining enrollments, its high ceilings and spacious rooms seemed to them full of possibilities and challenges. They have converted these spaces into a unique studio and home, with plenty of room for painting and the raising of their three children, Brock, McKenzie and Sophia Rose.
(Kelly Galleries)

ART EDUCATION:
1988 Minneapolis, MN - Private Foundries. Studied bronze casting and finishing.
1987 Museum art study throughout Europe.
1983 University of Minnesota. Studied human anatomy.
1980 - 1984 Atelier Lack, Minneapolis, MN - Completed the comprehensive four year program in the craft and techniques of the Old Masters.

TEACHING:
1986 University of Minnesota - taught traditional oil painting techniques.
1984 - 1986 Atelier LeSuer, Excelsior, MN - Assistant Director and Head Instructor of advanced students in the full-time program.
1983 - 1985 Atelier Lack, Minneapolis, MN - taught traditional oil painting techniques.

GALLERY SHOWS:
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA
Arcadia Gallery, New York, NY
Meadow Creek Galleries, MN
Trailside Americana, Scottsdale, AZ
Minnesota River Gallery, MN
Christines of Santa Fe, NM
The Beard Art Galleries, MN
Heritage Art Gallery, VA
(From feffreylarson.com)

The Color Of Daylight
Oil on canvas, 1999
Private collection
From ARC


The easy integration of natural-looking people and outdoor scenes is one of the hardest-won achievements in the history of art. Lurking in the air are irascible art obstacles: technical demons ready to sabotage the artist at every swipe of the brush.
Jeffrey T. Larson glides past these devilish difficulties as if his only problem were selecting the next image for his creamy, rich palette. And his scope is large: Larson paints still lifes, landscapes, portraits, and figures.
A special attribute of Larson is his unbridled play with all kinds of reflected or refracted light, and with cast shadow. In Color of Daylight (above), the peach-colored sheet might appear simply to be a gathering of beautiful colors, but in truth it is very complex—with every color being an attribute of refracted, reflected, or filtered light.
The cool violet fold is picking up the refracted light from the woman’s white dress. The orange stripe marks the cast shadow from the sheet behind. Above that boundary is sunlight filtered through the double layers of the peach sheet. But the bright gold light under the woman’s arm is a single layer of peach sheet, which is therefore twice as bright. These areas are like the light filtered through stained-glass windows.
Where does all this immediacy of light and color come from? Larson loves the early morning light, and his way is simply to take his studio outside and paint directly from observation for about ninety minutes each morning. Light, easel, action! And he is off breathing, feeling the moment, and sensing the energy of the light, wind, color, and mood all around him. With lightning-quick decisions, without hesitation, he attacks the canvas. His name for this is “Game day!”
Backing up his skill are years of classical training at the Atelier Lack, an artists' workshop for drawing and painting established by Richard Lack (1928–). Lack was one of very few artists who stood proudly against the twentieth century’s embrace of the nonobjective art of no light, no form, no subject matter. His method was to teach the demanding skills that are essential to representational art, and so Larson’s education began with his painstakingly drawing inanimate, plaster-cast busts. Then he went on to draw still-life work, graduating through the courses until he was painting live models in oil color.
A profound view of art that Larson learned from Lack was the significance of fresh color combinations, as espoused by the American and French Impressionists—Monet being one of Larson’s important early influences. Larson’s colors come from his direct observation of life, not from a hypothetical, in-studio construct.
(Aesthetic Commentary: Jeff Larson's Radical Perceptions by Michael Newberry, New York, March 2008 at michaelnewberry.com)


River Rock
oil On canvas
From michaelnewberry.com


In the studio, without observing colors from life, it is difficult to place bold colors next to one another without the combinations seeming artificial. However, look at River Rock (above), at the more-detailed views from the lower-right corner of the painting, and see how Larson pairs golden orange, rich browns, purples, and intense blues. Note that there is nothing jarring about the color combinations. They give off the natural, harmonious feel that is the result of direct observation. Notice the peach-pink highlight on the painting’s main rock, and observe that Larson plays with orange, green, blue—but again, with no discordant note. Another thing that plagues an artist not working from life is that it is very difficult to vary the colors of things, such as gray rocks. But every rock in this painting is made up of differing colors. It excites the eye by never letting it get bored through repetition.
(Aesthetic Commentary: Jeff Larson's Radical Perceptions by Michael Newberry, New York, March 2008 at michaelnewberry.com)


Silent Poem
Oil on canvas, 2000
Private collection
From ARC


Patterns
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


Over The Line
Oil on canvas
From michaelnewberry.com


Rose Print
Oil on canvas
From michaelnewberry.com


Freud said that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but looking for symbolism can be one of many ways to develop your eye and get more out of a painting. Rose Print (above) is loaded with possible erotic symbols: the masculine, bold, blood-red sheet in the foreground, and the feminine, delicate, luminescent, rose-pattern sheet (these are bed sheets, of course). Note the two horizontal, parallel clothes lines: Horizontals tend to give a calming feeling to a visual image, and the parallels are indicative that the two lines, the two people, see eye to eye. We might even imagine that the delicate shape of the woman’s cast shadow is unclothed. Yet her body is screened, as if to ask gently for privacy. And, of course, the clothes pins. This painting could be one of the most beautiful romantic works ever made.
It doesn’t really matter if the artist did all this intentionally or not, but look at the painting more closely and contemplate the colors, shapes, objects, and their possible meanings. The artist would be delighted with someone looking at his work with this sort of care, time, and thought.
(Adapted from Aesthetic Commentary: Jeff Larson's Radical Perceptions by Michael Newberry, New York, March 2008 at michaelnewberry.com)


Boys With Sticks
From jefflarson.net


River Walk
Oil on canvas
From michaelnewberry.com


The simple scene in River Walk (above) is really one of the most complex of the lot. Larson has managed to pull off a couple of extremely difficult optical effects. The boy’s ankles and feet are clearly submerged in the water. We can see the rocky river bed through the surface of the water, yet we can still sense that there is a surface to the water. In a warm, orange-brown color, he has painted the reflection of the boy on the surface of the water.
It would be misleading to think of Jeff Larson’s subject matter as lightweight. In our postmodern world, so many people elaborate grandiosely on what they are against, but so few inspire us with what they are for. Through his works, Larson shows us a world worth protecting from terrorism, cynicism, and senseless anger. “Having kids has helped me hold special moments—like playing patty-cake with my daughter,” he said. “She may have only been four years old, but then it seems that only weeks before, she was two. We can experience wonderful moments in simple things all around us.”
(Adapted from Aesthetic Commentary: Jeff Larson's Radical Perceptions by Michael Newberry, New York, March 2008 at michaelnewberry.com)


Summers End oil on canvas
From Liveinternet


Summer Thoughts
oil on canvas
From Liveinternet


Daydreams
oil on canvas
From Liveinternet


Realist painter Jeffrey T. Larson
finds elegance in everything from a vacuum cleaner
to hanging clothes to smoked fish on a paper plate
Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune


The worn-out Electrolux was heading for the junkyard when Heidi Larson stopped her husband at the door. Before you dump it, look at that beauty, she suggested. Sleek and streamlined, the shabby vacuum cleaner retained the elegant understatement of an Art Deco classic right down to its gleaming metal fittings, ruby-backed logo and sinuous turquoise hose.
A realist painter known for his meticulous still lifes, Jeffrey T. Larson realized that her keen eye was right.
He plunked the Electrolux atop a chaste wooden cabinet in his northern Wisconsin studio and set to work immortalizing it over the next several months. Scaled to the size of the vacuum, the nearly 5-foot-wide painting is a marvel of tone and texture, the machine's pewter-colored canister set off by steely caps, loops of rubbery black cord and a curvaceous hose that dips and arcs around the tank. The elegance of the composition and Larson's deft evocation of shiny metal, soft fabric, matte paint and diffuse light ennoble the utilitarian appliance, lofting it out of the pantry and into the pantheon of artistic masterpieces. Among the national and international awards it garnered last year was first place in the 25th annual still-life competition run by the Artist's Magazine.
(Mary Abbe at StarTribune.com)


Impatiens
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


Mother's Bouquet II
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


Dandelions
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


Dandelion Bouquet
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


Five Fish
Oil On Canvas
From jefflarson.net


Fish on Plate
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net

Fish on Can
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


Fish on Bowl
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


Portrait Commission
Oil On Canvas
From jefflarson.net


Portrait Commission
Oil On Canvas
From jefflarson.net


Reflections of Blue
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


August Field
Oil On Canvas
From jefflarson.net


Reflections Of A Pond
Oil On Panel
From jefflarson.net


The Color of White
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


White on White
Oil on canvas, 2001
Private collection
From ARC


In the past two years Larson, 47, has painted a plethora of realistic still lifes (flowers, fruit, smoked fish, rustic studio props), and impressionistic family portraits and landscapes. More than 80 of them are on view in a "pop-up" gallery he's set up in the Galleria mall in Edina. Trained in the classical-realist painting style at Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, the Wayzata native shows regularly on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, but is not represented by a Twin Cities gallery. So every couple of years he arranges his own presentation at Galleria.
After 25 years at the easel, Larson's hand and eye are so fluid that his paintings can appear to be the work of several artists. In spring and summer he spends every fair weather day outside, recording the lush garden and woodlands around the former schoolhouse near Maple, Wis., that he shares with his wife and their three home-schooled teenagers. In these paintings his style is looser and more impressionistic, responsive to each day's fleeting light and shadow. Often his figures are backlit, the sun glowing through their hair and only indirectly lighting their faces and torsos as they pin laundry to a clothesline, ramble through a meadow or read in a bower of lupine and poppies. The difficulty of rendering such images is belied by the bucolic languor of the scenes and the rustic simplicity of their settings.
He rarely if ever takes photos, preferring instead to work in natural light. At any moment he'll have several canvases in progress for different times of day. An obsessive worker, he turns out between 60 and 75 paintings most years.
(Mary Abbe at StarTribune.com)



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