For well over twenty years the primary focus of my work has been landscape. What attracts me to painting images based on the natural world is probably similar to that which inspires other artists to depict landscape. For me, it is a sense of the spiritual underlying the beauty of nature.
I appreciate the sense of freedom that I experience when painting landscape. There is a quality to these kinds of images that allows for expression and interpretation yet can still read as a landscape. I generally choose to paint the quiet, peaceful aspect of nature as opposed to the threatening or the volatile side of nature. So there are always decisions to be made, of which many are intuitive or develop slowly over time with a large body of work. There is a contemplative aspect to the approach that I take when studying and painting from the land. As one delves more deeply into the act of painting, the image evolves as a work about painting. There is a sense of departure from the image of nature as seen with our eyes or the lens of a camera.
I prefer to paint in the controlled environment of the studio. For this reason, I work from photographs that I make mostly with a medium format camera as well as a view camera, which allows manipulating the image on a ground glass with camera adjustments. I generally work from 6×6 cm and occasionally 4”x5” transparencies The quality of the photographs is important as I prefer to select from images that have an abundance of detail and information.
Quality of light is a key ingredient as I appreciate the play of natural light oftentimes in dramatic fashion. I spend time in State and National Parks when making many of these photographs and these experiences carry over into the studio.
In the studio, the work develops slowly with an underpainting and layering of paint. Formal concerns of of compositon and cropping occur during the early stages. I like to work with a heightened color pallete, yet still remain faithful to the natural world. The play of light becomes clearer as color and contrast define the image. Through these more abstract concerns of light, color, and compositon, I hope that these paintings allude to an experience of the order and quiet beauty of nature.
About Jeffrey Vaughn
Jeffrey Vaughn from Alton, Illinois, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1978 from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. He went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in 1981 from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, and in 1983 he received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Dallas.
He has an extensive resume of both solo and group exhibitions dating from 1979. One of his most recent exhibits was the Fall 2010 Solo Exhibition: “Natural Order” Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY. November 18-December 18, 2010. His work has also been featured in many publications.
Vaughn’s works can be found in many public collections throughout the United States including the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Nestle’s/Ralston Corporation, St. Louis, MO, Fidelity Securities, Boston, MA, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO, and Commerce Bancshares, MO. His work is also included in several private collections.