These sketches were made while I was still regularly making large oil paintings of abstracted landscapes.
When I make a sketch my brain goes into recording mode where I'm taking in everything I see to make calculations and decisions to get my subject translated down onto the paper but by default everything going on around me gets lodged into my brain too. Because of this, when I look back at a drawing I can instantly tell you who was around, what I might have been eating, if I was listening to a podcast or music or nothing.
|"Man Climbing a Cliff in the Mountains", 2008, 68 inches by 64 inches , oil on canvas|
|"Robert", 2010, 44 inches by 42 inches, oil on canvas|
|"Landscape with Two Figures" , 2012, 60 inches by 66 inches, oil|
In the studio:
What a beautiful mess this pallet is!
A studio day for Robert is any day that he does not have a class over at the University of North Texas where he is a Professor of Drawing and Painting in the College of Visual Arts and Design.
"Sometimes, the painting sessions are fifteen minutes, sometimes they are three to four hours..." "I'm doing these little works on paper and when I don't feel quite up to the messy work of slogging around in the oil paint, I can make these little pictures. My table for doing them is set up in my studio, where I can look up and see the canvas that I'm working on. I usually only have one painting on canvas going at a time, but during the course of a painting, I may have several works on paper going. I also usually don't complete a work on paper in one sitting. I often have a fast start of one sort or another then leave it alone. Then I'll come back and respond to those first markings and try to advance the form and nascent imagery. Altogether, these little works probably take between two and four hours over a couple of days to bring to completion. The paintings proceed in much the same way, but over a longer period of days and sessions. Most paintings, though, have always been completed in a week to ten days."
|A woman looks at 'Le jardin d'Hiver,' 1968-1970, a work by French artist Jean Dubuffet|
I received my copy of New American Paintings the other day and have not been able to get my eyes away from the pages with Robert Jessup's work. From what I can see, he has been working in representation to show the viewer a story for the majority of his career. The past two years of paintings however, have drastically changed in style. Jessup says of his process, "A painting is done when the last punch lands," and that his work is made with "...equal parts deliberation and desperation."
Here are a few more of Jessup's work from this year with the new style and a huge punch of narrative.
I had such a hard time picking work to show here, do yourself a favor and go to Robert Jessup's website and have a look at more of his paintings.