Jay Moore

A new day

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

In re­cent years painter Jay Moore has been step­ping deeper into his work, search­ing for more per­sonal con­nec­tions to his land­scapes as a way of of­fer­ing richer sto­ry­telling el­e­ments.

“With Char­lie Russell, he has three cow­boys, an In­dian and horses and it could tell its own story, but with land­scapes or wildlife it’s a bit more chal­leng­ing to draw peo­ple into the paint­ing,” the Colorado painter says. “What I’m try­ing to do is make each paint­ing more per­sonal, and do­ing it by bring­ing in more sub­stance from my own life, so the paint­ing tells a deeper story and isn’t just a scene.”

For ex­am­ple, he says, one day last year he saw two great horned owls perched on a pine tree be­hind his house. Moore asked a birder friend, who of­fered a rea­son­able ex­pla­na­tion for the pair­ing: one was a par­ent and the other was an ado­les­cent that was be­ing taught to hunt. “You could tell it was al­most time for the birds to part ways be­cause it had learned all it needed to. That im­age re­ally struck me be­cause we have two teen boys at home and they’re about ready to do the same thing,” Moore says. “I want peo­ple to see my work and get misty eyes, and not be­cause of the qual­ity of the paint­ing, but be­cause they can re­late to it. I want the work to res­onate with them deeply. And so I’ve been paint­ing things that res­onate with me, per­sonal things that I feel strongly about.”

Jay will be show­ing the still-un­ti­tled owl scene, as well as nearly a dozen other works, at his new show open­ing May 4 at his stu­dio in Parker, Colorado. Many of the pieces come from his own ex­pe­ri­ences, in­clud­ing Colorado Hay Bales, which came to be af­ter the artist’s wife saw these sub­jects from the side of a road. “They’re about 3 miles from the stu­dio, and she called me

out to this lit­tle ranch where she said I had to see these hay bales. ‘They’re go­ing to pick them up, so hurry,’ she said,” Moore re­calls. “When I got there I was sur­prised that the bales had a tufted and lumpy look to them be­cause they were made by this old 1950s or 1960s hay baler. The baler had burned up and broke down right out in the field so these were the last bales it would pro­duce. It was sort of sad be­cause these bales had such great char­ac­ter to them and the farmer would go get a new baler and the bales from that day on would be tight and per­fect.” Moore set up an easel and com­pleted the plein air piece right there on the spot.

Other new works in­clude A New Day, which has what Moore calls “that won­der­ful ruby light­ing at the be­gin­ning of the day.” The piece has an op­ti­mistic slant, he says, in that it sug­gests the new day is go­ing to be better than the one be­fore it. “We go through dif­fer­ent phases and chap­ters in our life, and I like to think this idea sus­tains peo­ple through any­thing, be it ill­ness or the death of a loved one, or just any­thing,” he ex­plains. “This was in Rocky Moun­tain Na­tional Park, and it was chal­leng­ing be­cause most of the paint­ing is in shadow in a va­ri­ety of grays and it all builds to this crescendo with these sun­lit peaks.”

In Septem­ber Light, Moore is right at home push­ing his paint as far as he can with one of his most fa­mous sub­jects: wa­ter. The artist sees these paint­ings as chal­lenges of light and paint. “You’re con­stantly test­ing your­self with the depth of the wa­ter, the cur­rent move­ment, the transparen­cy of the wa­ter, the shad­ows, the rocks that are sub­merged but also above the wa­ter­line… all of this has to work to­gether,” he says. “I’m al­ways try­ing to un­der­stand the science of light, of re­frac­tion, of what hap­pens to edges un­der­wa­ter, what hap­pens to color, the dap­pling of light through the wa­ter, how to cre­ate per­spec­tive and move­ment and re­flec­tions. It’s like get­ting six or seven in­stru­ments that sound dif­fer­ently to play the same har­mony.”

And he does all this with­out bog­ging the paint­ing down in detail: “[Fred­eric] Rem­ing­ton said he didn’t want to see the detail, but feel the detail. And that’s what I’m hop­ing to do. I want you to feel it, and sense it, with­out be­ing shown ev­ery­thing.”

Septem­ber Light, oil on linen, 30 x 40"

Sheep Moun­tain, oil on linen, 20 x 60"

A New Day, oil on linen, 40 x 40"

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