Spring is finally here in New England —and so the 15th annual Goetemann Artist Residency program has begun. Monday night, May 6, Gloucester Invitational Artist Jason Burroughs gave us an overview of his artistic heritage and training, as well as a hint of what’s to come this month during his residency.
For a Gloucester boy, Jason has, not surprisingly, been attracted to the harbor, its piers and pylons. In fact, pylons, with their “long verticals and repetition of lines and forms” figure in many of Jason’s early pieces, which focused on sculpture.
Once Jason graduated from Montserrat College of Art, he began exploring different Gloucester neighborhoods with drawing materials at hand. He wanted to work plein air, onsite, taking down information.
But it was a process: “They didn’t feel finished,” he says of his early drawings (which are really lovely). “I was overworking them. It took a long time and I felt I was missing something. I had to capture the light,” and he knew he had to be outside to do that.
So he picked up his oil paints, using a palatte of colors similar to noted local painter Emil Gruppe and started to work. He aimed for two hours — but found he was spending eight hours apiece on each work.
He entered the Cape Ann Quick Draw event. He not only won an Judge’s Merit award, but learned to keep to his projected two-hour time limit.
He’s painting on panels and had learned not to be concerned with a piece being finished. Doing such sketches forces him to “just go out and do it.” Great advice for all of us!
Jason will be focusing on plein air for his Residency in May. If you’re on Rocky Neck, stroll down to the end of Rocky Neck Ave. to see if his sign’s out and he’s working in the studio. Otherwise, keep your eyes open around Gloucester — you’re sure to see him working outside.
Jason’s closing talk is May 30, at 5PM at the Goetemann Studio, 77 Rocky Neck Ave., #10 (Madfish Wharf, facing the parking lot and the Marine Railways). Check out Jason’s website: JasonBurroughsGallery.com