Viewing a Painting in Time

Jeremy Harrison, the artist

Painting with traditional materials

My decision to revisit painting with traditional cold press watercolor paper for this video is partly driven by the materials at hand during a recent visit to the Adirondacks. The Chambers 1-beginningprevious evening I had portaged my canoe into a small lake named Chambers. As the sun faded, the sky and its reflection on the still water became intensely beautiful. Those impressions are foremost in my mind while creating this piece.

Peter Saltzman, headshot

Viewing a painting in time

Something is happening. When Jeremy delivered this painting, clocking in at nearly 13 minutes, I was reminded that painting and the plastic arts in general are, of course, not primarily time-based medium. They obviously take time to produce, but we normally experience them solely in space. Music, theater, film, dance, literature: these unfold over time. The drama occurs in acts, movements, chapters, etc.

And yet…

Trying to come up with an improvisation for this “live” painting, reminded me that even as we see a finished painting or sculpture as a static image or object, we don’t actually experience it that way. We can’t possibly take the entire entity in a single glance; we come to understand and relate to it, experience it’s emotion and power over time.

Jeremy Harrison, the artist

Experience influencing style

Working as fast as I can, I am still unable to finish the painting in any less time than for previous attempts. Still, my abstract work on the plastic Yupo paper is definitely influencing my style. The final painting is much Chambers-midmore expressionistic than my usual landscape paintings. I hope the energy of the marks help evoke some of the feelings I experienced the night before. Peter seems to relish the challenge of improvising to longer videos and his music beautifully heightens the impact of the imagery.

About the Artists

Jeremy Harrison, the artistJeremy Harrison recently retired from teaching art at The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts where he was on the faculty since 1988.  His teaching included drawing, painting, printmaking, and digital photography.  He earned a BA from Kenyon College in 1982 double majoring in studio art and religion. He earned his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1985 majoring in printmaking and minoring in drawing. Inspiration for his landscape images comes from his experiences in the wildernesses of Canada, the Adirondacks, and Maine. An experienced canoeist, he helped lead a six-man, 800-mile canoe journey across the Canadian tundra to the Arctic Ocean. He continues to canoe and hike in Maine, Massachusetts, and the Adirondacks while making paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs as often as possible.

Peter Saltzman, headshotWith a deep jazz-and-blues core, Peter Saltzman has produced a broad career in the music industry as composer, pianist, singer-songwriter, and author. Various ensembles have performed and recorded his work globally—the Czech National Symphony Orchestra recorded his orchestral dance suite “Walls” (1996), and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre performed “Walls” during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The Dallas Morning News reviewed Saltzman’s music as “powerful stuff.” His second album, Kabbalah Blues/Quantum Funk (2000), earned critical acclaim for its jazz/classical/pop fusion, hailed as “ambitious, richly layered, wonderfully accessible.” Saltzman studied jazz at Indiana University (Bloomington) and composition at Eastman School of Music. He was an adjunct professor of music at Columbia College Chicago, where he taught music technology and piano. His concert works are published by Oxford University Press; his film and television works are published by Wild Whirled Music. Saltzman’s music has been licensed for television shows, jingles, and industrials, including My Name is Earl (NBC, 2006).

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