A professional graphic artist with an impressive portfolio of traditional artwork, JeffJag is breaking away from representational art. The Pueblo artist describes the high-tech hybrid technique behind his digital paintings as "a cross between drawing and painting."
"I paint in Photoshop, using a tablet with a wireless pen," he says. "The effect isn't anything you can describe."
The results of this labor-intensive process some pieces take months to complete are vibrant meditations on shape and color. In true abstract fashion, the finished products come about spontaneously.
"I don't really intend to put anything specific in there, but sometimes things emerge: a flower or a repeating shape," he explains. "But I like when people come up with their own imagery; that's the most gratifying thing. The real art is what they see, not what I've painted."
Although spontaneity reigns, there are painstaking "rules" that JeffJag recently realized he always follows. Among them:
"Start spontaneously. Use bright and dark saturated colors. Avoid absolute white or absolute black. Movement needs an outlet. Share your color with your neighbors. Let it go wherever it goes. Jump around from time to time. Create shapes in both positive and negative space. Everything can shine from any angle."
JeffJag's upcoming exhibit at The Blue Star, which is scheduled to open April 3, is a follow-up to his successful one-man show currently on display at the OpticalReverb Gallery.
"[The exhibit] is all abstract work except for one portrait, which I included to show that, yeah, I can actually draw," he says with a laugh.
Artwork by Jeff Jag
OpticalReverb Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave.
Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 or by appointment. Runs through April 3.
Free; call 210-9799 for more information.