“Observing Observing (a white cup): Jordan Wolfson”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Observing Observing (a white cup)” opens September 12th and continues through October 31, 2015

Curated by Eric Elliott, Michael Howard & Norman Lundin. More than twenty artists (both gallery artists and not) accepted the invitation to submit work.

Reception for the artists, Sept. 12, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #13: Jordan Wolfson


Jordan Wolfson in the studio. Photo credit: John Walthier

1. How did you respond to the idea of the white cup?

I enjoy that sort of subject matter – it’s the sort of thing I did a lot of many years ago, so it was sort of like visiting an old, welcomed friend. Finding subtle tonal shifts, feeling into them, quiets my mind. It’s peaceful, contemplative. And that’s a pleasure given the busyness of our lives – so I appreciated the call.

2. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I teach privately, as well as exhibit.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I don’t consider myself an artist. I don’t mean to be technical, but I consider myself a painter. I have real questions, and not many clear answers, about the identity and role of an artist today. But to answer the question, when did I consider myself a painter – well, it was something that I did since I was young. I started painting in oils when I was fifteen, but in college I was pre-med. Then in a few studio classes in painting, that I took to keep sane, I just fell in love. But I don’t think I really considered myself a painter until a good number of years passed after I had finished grad school and, lo and behold, I was still painting. So it became part of my identity because I kept doing it.

4. What are your influences?

Hmmm…a lot! Titian, Rembrandt, Chardin, Cezanne, Monet, Matisse, Soutine, Morandi, Giacometti, de Kooning, Resnick, Diebenkorn, Auerbach – I guess that’s a start! And teachers too, of course – Andrew Forge, William Bailey, John Walker, Mel Bochner – but from undergrad as well, Don Weygandt – who studied with and became a friend of Diebenkorn, Hardy Hanson, Patrick Ahearne – all great, great teachers. But there are spiritual influences as well, that feed directly into how I think and reflect and work as a painter. Buddhist thought, certainly. Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, Rupert Spira. I remember reading Alan Watts’ book “The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are” as a boy, and my mind being fairly blown open! It certainly affected the way I come to the things that are important to me, like painting. The context for me for painting, it’s not really “art” – it’s something wider and deeper, about life itself. And I’m sure that’s close to what some folks mean when they use the word “art” but I find the term, for myself, confusing and leading to a whole other set of associations and assumptions.

5. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

The studio is about 750 square feet, with a large bank of south facing windows. There’s artificial light, but I don’t usually paint with it.

6. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

Morning begins with coffee, loud music (from my never-ending playlist — I love music.), a snack and more coffee, more loud music, then lunch while reading from The New Yorker, a short nap, then tea and more loud music. That’s a good day. Too often there’s the list of errands and logistics and blah, blah, blah.

7. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I prefer to paint in oils. But I draw a lot in graphite and charcoal. Usually there’s one main interest, but with side projects along the way – maybe drawings or fine-tuning more developed paintings while the main interest gets going .

8. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

No, just pretty straightforward oil painting, I think.

9. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I read and write a good bit, and think about the state of the world – where are we going, and are we going to make it and what can painting do, actually, to help. I also co-parent my two lovely young daughters and enjoy the life here in Colorado.

“Still Life with White Cup”, 2015, oil on linen, 14 x 12

“Still Life with White Cup”, 2015, oil on linen, 14 x 12″

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s