Jay Moore

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - JAY MOORE

Wo­ven into na­ture

When you work in the wild, your co­work­ers tend to be the an­i­mals, some­thing Jay Moore can at­test to af­ter many years of plein air paint­ing in the wilds of the West. “One of the perks of paint­ing on lo­ca­tion is the an­i­mals just come right up to you. Paint­ing at an easel is like be­ing in a deer stand—the an­i­mals sim­ply don’t see you. They’re go­ing about their life and just do­ing their thing,” he says. “And there you are just ad­mir­ing them. It’s a lot of fun.”

The Colorado-based Moore, pri­mar­ily known as a land­scape painter, has turned his at­ten­tion to wildlife works for In Their Own World, a new solo show he’s pre­sent­ing at his own gallery, Jay Moore Stu­dio, in Parker, Colorado. The works still have strong land­scape com­po­nents to them—fields of wild­flow­ers, a stream shrouded in fall color, an icy creek banked by pil­low-soft snow un­touched by man and beast—yet, they are stun­ningly fresh takes on an­i­mals within their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ments.

“I’ve had this col­lec­tion of wildlife grow­ing here and there, sort of in­fre­quently. So when it came time to host a show in my own gallery, where I can do what­ever I want and not have to worry about the work I might be bet­ter

known for, I knew these pieces would make a great show. I had a stash al­ready, so I added to it,” Moore says. “I’ve had ideas, thumb­nails sketches and small stud­ies that have been ru­mi­nat­ing for six months or longer. One of the things that was im­por­tant to me was that they are from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­enced. I’ve seen these things with my own eyes.”

What makes the paint­ings work, in ad­di­tion to be­ing tes­ta­ments to the artist’s own ex­pe­ri­ences in the wild, is that they func­tion so dy­nam­i­cally as both wildlife and land­scape works, and yet nei­ther genre is be­holden to the other—the land­scapes are vivid and lush, and yet the wildlife sub­jects live within these scenes not as static cap­tives in the scene, but as free-roam­ing crea­tures of the for­est. Con­sider a piece such as Rolling in Clover, a paint­ing of a bear paw­ing through a green moun­tain meadow. There may have been pres­sure to crop in closer on the bear, or fea­ture it in a more star­ring role, yet Moore gives the bear free­dom to roam, to the point that the bear rep­re­sents only a small per­cent­age of the over­all paint­ing. Rolling in Clover also fea­tures Moore’s won­der­ful paint qual­ity. The greens, yel­lows, whites and laven­ders are wo­ven into the paint­ing in a way that beg to be touched, the same way a tex­tile or tapestry dares view­ers to rake their fin­gers lightly against the threads to feel the work on an­other di­men­sion.

Other paint­ings in­clude Nar­row Es­cape,a bu­colic fox scene in a farm set­ting; Ger­man Brown, an un­der­wa­ter fish scene that would make Stan­ley Melt­zoff proud; Quiet Soli­tude, fea­tur­ing a deer slowly edg­ing to­ward an icy creek in a win­tery scene; and Pass­ing Through, a moose paint­ing set within fall color. In nearly all of the works, the an­i­mals don’t dom­i­nate the com­po­si­tions. Moore didn’t in­vent this idea—“robert Bate­man has put an­i­mals in beau­ti­ful land­scapes for a long time, as have Tucker Smith, Carl Rungius, John Cly­mer and many oth­ers…,” he adds—but he has taken it to an ex­cit­ing new level with In Their Own World.

Study of Train­ing is Al­most Com­plete, oil on linen, 8 x 8”

Pass­ing Through, oil on linen, 14 x 11”

Rolling in Clover, oil on linen, 36 x 40”

Quiet Soli­tude, oil on linen, 28 x 28”

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