Continuing in December TRANSITIONS, by Portland artist Jeff White, will be on view at Gallery 903 through the end of the year. Jeff’s soaring landscapes with their perfect mix of movement, memory and emotion truly capture moments of serenity that translate to the viewer.
JEFF WHITE INTERVIEW
We sat down wit Jeff White to talk about his latest show, TRANSITIONS.
903: How does your work connect within itself? Are there internal connections within individual pieces?
JW: I believe that nature offers us all a window into ourselves - a look at the body, mind and spirit. Color, texture, and composition create a language that I see introspectively through my own shade of lenses, and so each piece reflects a vision back to me of what might be internally going on, that is expressed externally through nature.
903: This show includes smaller studies that lead to larger pieces. Do you always create a study before a larger piece? Does/did working small help inform your decisions for larger works?
JW: Not always. Sometimes the work is already complete in my head and when i don’t try to mastermind it and just let the creative spirit take control, my hands just become the tools. In my mind the smaller pieces are just as big as the larger pieces, they just take less time.
903: There are strong environmental themes within your work. Are these based on real life - places and instances you have experienced personally - or is there a greater symbolism?
JW: They are not based on real places exactly, but are definitely influenced by places I have been, including the Columbia Gorge. The Gorge is such a powerful place that often moves us deeply at an emotional and spiritual level, which is why so many of us were heart broken by the fires this year.
For me, all of the elements - the sky, the water, the sun, the moon, the winds, the colors of light, and even the fire - are energy patterns that are rhythmically connected, similar to the way paint binds to the canvas, and the vibrations of light dance through each pigment. The energy of places I’ve been eventually translates into a connection of thoughts and feelings, reflecting what is inside and communicating or translating that feeling through my paintings to others.
Ultimately, that is what I try to capture through my paintings, more than just a photograph or a visual memory of a specific place. The waterfalls don’t really have a specific meaning.
After finally settling down in his new home new studio just outside Portland, White once again had time to breathe and observe. It was then he began to realize he was transitioning into another state of mind with his work. “I now live in a place of beautiful inspiration,” White says “and I feel like I’ve transitioned – that I’m just starting to scratch the surface again with my work.”