From a very early age my mother knew I would be an artist. She has often reminded me that as a baby I would remove the contents of my diaper and paint the spindles of my crib and mask the walls of my room with lovely shades of brown, green and yellow. It did not take long to find a new less invasive medium and more appropriate brushes.
I was born in Kansas City, MO. I grew up in St. Louis MO. & Burlington, WI. I live in Lake Geneva, WI. My first official framed work , titled Violets was painted in kindergarten, at Clark Elementary School in 1976. It was tempera on black construction paper. It still hangs in my parents home to this day.
Most of my formal training was provided by way of private instructors. My mother sent me to a lovely lady named Leone Cooper, a St. Louis artist, teacher and lecturer who taught me watercolor. I learned acrylic painting at a now defunct art school in Old Webster – Webster Groves, MO. I was involved in several workshops and other art centric and drawing classes by way of community college and through the public school system.
I avoided any art classes throughout high school. I found them to be boring, unchallenging and lacking any fundamental foundation in art. I continued creating art on my own. Whether it be drawing, or in a new found love of the “Industrial Arts”. Working with metal and woodworking became a primary focus.
I attended the University of Wisconsin at Parkside in Kenosha, WI. I studied Art and Art History with a primary focus in sculpture and later a concentration in graphic design. I dropped out twice. Once to go to work, and the second time to start a business. I have studied further in the UW system in the North Woods (Pigeon Lake), as well as abroad in the UK and Scotland.
I have continued to create art in various forms over the years. From website and logo design to simple drawings. From woodworking projects to complicated restorations. While the mediums have varied, I have never lost my passion for, or love of art. My woodworking skills have led to creating simple cabinetry to Louise Nevelson inspired 3-D Sculptures.
My first love has always been watercolor. It has taken me 40 years to realize my style and strength as an artist. My most recent series of works are what I have aptly dubbed, Neo Romanticism (a form of Abstract Expressionism). I am influenced by Joseph Mallord William Turner, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock.
I have for the most part developed a unique process of direct application of watercolor on paper using limited brushes, deliberate strokes and a combination of paper towel and tissue to create a blended, layered effect through an additive and reductive process. Light and color shows through the various layers leaving the viewer with a composition devoid of literal distractions. The works have different affects on the viewer causing them to find an image within the piece or relate emotionally directly to the movement and shape of the overall composition.
Why Naked Jer? Quite simply, because I am sharing myself, what’s underneath with everyone. Until this point I have shared very little if any of the artwork I have done over the years with anyone, including family. This is me – exposed, uncovered.
“Naked” does not mean that they we’re without clothing, but rather that their spiritual condition had been exposed.”
I welcome any questions, comments & critiques.