In addition to internationally renown artists Hunt Slonem and Shepard Fairey, Miller Gallery is proud to showcase the newest works of British-American artist, Jo Hay, during Fire&Grace, opening Friday, February 23, 2018 from 6-8pm.
Gallery Associate, Rachael, took a moment to ask Jo a few questions:
How long have you been painting?
I have painted pretty much all of my life but full time in the last 20 years.
What influenced you to start painting?
When I was a child, my mother subscribed to an oversized monthly color magazine in England that was so well produced it was like a 20 page coffee table book. Each issue covered a different European painter such as Velazquez or Manet. I spent hours looking at their work with a distinctive sense of ‘belonging.’ Because of this feeling I was dumfounded that I couldn’t immediately make proficient paintings. This early sense of profound failure absolutely infuriated me but forced me to spend my life in museums, books and schools figuring out how to paint.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
As a recurring theme I would say it was those who have overcome some kind of adversity to achieve something they were told was impossible. I look to game-changers, outsiders, those who beat the odds and anyone who has the courage to live their lives as they truly are.
Tell us about your creative process.
I work largely from photographic reference material, which I prefer to shoot myself when I can, so that I have a direct relationship with the content of the paintings. Prior to painting, I spend a good deal of time mixing paint as I have found that the correct color relationships can suggest solid three dimensional form even if the paint mark shape is inaccurate. I then begin constructing the sense of form tackling large areas first, working back and forth and around the painting to maintain an overall sense of balance. Returning to the same painting daily over a period of time I believe, allows it to accumulate a history of my own different emotional states as well as allowing for a greater variety of paint marks that combine to achieve a total sense of completion.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have ever made?
I might have a favorite painting in a particular moment. But I have learned not to get too attached to something I have made as it can suddenly become the standard by which all else is judged and this becomes an impediment to the complete freedom required for the next painting to be made.
What are five things that you can't live without?
JH: 1. Music. I never paint in silence and some days can repeat one song for hours.
3. My white yamaha custom maple drum kit.
4. Really good quality painting materials, especially paint.
5. Living close to water. Currently I am 25 miles out in the ocean on Cape Cod.
Looking forward to seeing you all on Friday! If you can't make it to the show, check out our website for available works by Jo Hay, Hunt Slonem, and Shepard Fairey. Exhibiting through March 2018.