En­ergy and Vigour

Arabella - - CLAUDE LANGEVIN - writ­ten by Mark Bla­grave

A painter who is also an el­e­men­tary school teacher with a de­gree in Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion may on a re­sumé, but when you con­sider Jay Favot’s life and work it all makes sense. The na­tive of Sudbury re­calls of his child­hood: “Although I had other in­ter­ests in­clud­ing a va­ri­ety of sports, I favoured draw­ing over all the oth­ers.” In fact, his “dom­i­nant mem­ory as a youth was of los­ing track of time and be­ing to­tally im­mersed in sketch­ing.” Fol­low­ing a de­gree in Phys. Ed., it was when he en­rolled in a draw­ing course while at teacher’s col­lege at Mcgill that his “de­sire to sketch was reignited.” This led to com­mis­sions and an

in Toronto. Re­turn­ing to Sudbury, Jay has man­aged to sus­tain a vi­brant art prac­tice while con­tin­u­ing to teach in an el­e­men­tary school. The en­ergy and vigour that sus­tains Jay in his teach­ing and sports ef­forts are read­ily ap­par­ent ap­proach to paint­ing. He re­ports that he paints “seven days a week, very early in the morn­ing, al­ways lov­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­plor­ing the craft of art.” He will typ­i­cally have any­where from any given time. What may sound like a se­vere work ethic, he says, “never feels like work.” This is per­haps owing to his con­scious ef­forts al­ways to be chang­ing things up. “Change in­spires my work,” he notes. “I am con­stantly look­ing for new chal­lenges and sub­ject mat­ter. The end­less de­sire to cre­ate has never left me.” One of his great­est chal­lenges is ac­tu­ally “to nar­row down the num­ber of works to com­plete within a pre­de­ter­mined time frame.” He con­fesses to of­ten hav­ing “more ideas for paint­ings than I have time to ini­ti­ate and com­plete them.”

Cap­tur­ing the Mo­ment

Never con­tent to set­tle into a sin­gle sub­ject mat­ter, Jay is equally at home with land­scapes, walk­ing through a city,” he re­counts, “and I no­tice the grand scale of it, I think it’s just as cap­ti­vat­ing as walk­ing through a new rocky land­scape or other nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ments.” He does ad­mit, though, that relocation to a more ru­ral set­ting from the city six years ago af­fected his work im­me­di­ately: “I started to ex­plore trees, part of my daily ex­pe­ri­ences.” Daily ex­pe­ri­ences clearly form one of the threads that draw all

are not to be taken for granted,” he notes. “I am just try­ing to recre­ate the feel­ings I get when I see a mo­ment I want to cap­ture or in­ter­pret.” Jay val­ues in­tu­ition and spon­tane­ity over re­ports. “I feel that with art you need to paint oth­ers. I found my best paint­ings are the ones that come out of a com­po­si­tional idea that I fol­lowed through on not be­cause I thought it would be pop­u­lar, but be­cause I wanted to see where it would lead.” Among his early Colville. More im­me­di­ate was the back­ground he de­vel­oped with his high school draft­ing teacher: ”He taught me the ba­sics of draw­ing and colour the­ory. He al­ways gave me hon­est feed­back on my work and still drops by the stu­dio to look at re­cent works.” A visit from his for­mer teacher, Jay says, “is a great mix of fa­mil­iar­ity and cre­ates an ea­ger­ness for feed­back.”

Work­ing Ethics

While the care­ful de­sign and drafts­man­ship that were de­vel­oped early re­main ev­i­dent in Jay’s paint­ing, he notes that “In the last few years, I’ve been do­ing a lot more draw­ing with paint and less pre-draw­ing. I start with bold brush strokes, lay a loose layer of paint on the Although he has worked with oils, pas­tels, conté, and char­coal in a va­ri­ety of for­mats, his cur­rent favourite medium is acrylic on can­vas. As he de­vel­ops a paint­ing, the va­ri­ety of Jay’s he tack­les. For still-lifes, he will be­gin with a thumb­nail sketch and fo­cus on light in terms of

Pre­vi­ous Page, Pome­gran­ate Over Cir­cles, acrylic on can­vas, 30” x 40” This Page, Tan­ger­ine Twists, acrylic on can­vas, 24” x 24” right, Crys­tal Lemon Fu­sion, acrylic on can­vas, 24” x 48”

left, Ger­bers Burst, acrylic on can­vas, 30” x 40”

left, Sun­day Sum­mer Remix, acrylic on can­vas, 24” x 30”

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