elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Jeff Spicer: A Realistic Master

Jeff Spicer was born in Detroit, Michigan, and has made his home in Western Kentucky since 1971. He has pursued artistic interests from earliest childhood. After completing training in medical illustration at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, he studied theology at Logos Bible College earning an Associates Degree.

Walnut, Pastel, 20 x 15

Walnut has its origin in a photo shoot I did of a couple, I was looking for poses that were not only interesting to the eye but that suggested intimacy as well as the trust that exist between two people. Of the many photos I took that day it was this pose that struck me; not only did it have the visual elements I was searching for but the emotional as well, physically the entwined couple reminded me of the two halves of meat found in an opened walnut shell. All worthwhile relationships involve stretching, opening up, bending, giving and receiving, an interlocking of minds, bodies, and souls until the two become the interlocked halves of a new whole.

Thirst, Pastel, 27 x 20

With the painting of Thirst I wanted to capture one of mankind’s greatest needs and failings. Physically our bodies are 90% water, so it’s no mystery that we are drawn to it by a strong, even overpowering desire as represented by the primitive youth crouching at the pool. But modern man thirsts for more than water, we thirst for happiness, love, and meaning. What I find ironic is that even millions of years haven’t erased our wariness, our fear of danger. It’s this paranoia that robs of us the simple pleasure of quenching our thirst once we find a source to satisfy, whether it’s a new home, a career, a loving relationship, family, friends even God. We crouch at the source, hurriedly dip our hands into the pool, and gulp it down quickly as we search with our eyes for danger, real or imagined. Seldom do we relax and enjoy the “source,” much less spend time gazing into it’s depths…if we would only pause to look down we would find ourselves reflected in the very heart of our source of happiness, love, God…how much sweeter, cooler, refreshing would the simple task of quenching our “thirst” be?

Nap, Oil, 25 x 18

"Nap" Not much metaphysical thought went into producing this particular work. Just as the simple title implies, this is a study I did of a model in my studio, who during a sitting dozed off. It was a natural occurrence that happened in an unguarded moment of relaxation and it captured my imagination.

Winged One, Pastel, 21 x 29

I believe all of us are endowed with a unique soul or spirit, it’s the unseen part of us that rises above the supposed reality of earth and dares to soar to our highest aspirations. On the wings of hope it is that portion of us that dreams, that imagines, it allows us to rise above even our shortcomings and failures. Simply put, Winged One is my interpretation of what someone’s soul or spirit may look like if it were visible to the naked eye.

On the Edge, Pastel, 29.5 x 29.5

Who of us hasn’t felt the despair of being pushed to the edge? Stripped naked and vulnerable we cling to the sharp edged cliffs of reality. Weak and weary we wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to simply let go and let gravity take over. But even on the steepest of mountainsides, jagged with stones of failure, disappointment, and betrayal, there is always a glimmer of light shining from above; sometimes it’s a matter simply lifting our eyes where our hearts want to be.

Ablution, Pastel, 11 x 25

Ablution is defined as: a ritual cleansing. Like most gay men and women with a traditional Protestant upbringing there was a huge conflict between what was in my heart and what the church proper taught concerning homosexuality and serving God. Made to feel like the lepers of ancient Israel who were bound by law to continually shout, “Unclean!” it took many years to realize that it wasn’t God who was condemning me but rather those who hid behind His name within the church. With the realization that I was created gay and therefore accepted as such by God there came a feeling of cleansing, thus this picture represents all gay men who can stand naked before God as they truly are, cleansed from the destructive and false labels of men.

Recycled, Pastel, 36 x 24

With Recycled I brought together visual elements to represent what is essentially my philosophy of life on Earth. There is a finite amount of matter within the boundaries of our planet; all of which is continually dying but within the process of these deaths we find the seeds of rebirth, a renewing cycle of life. In this painting I brought together some of the distinguishing elements of our world: the foundational bedrock, life-sustaining water, plant life, and animal represented by man. But it is only man who is self-conscious, who can destroy or create life as he chooses, the mystery is found in the question, what is the source of this self-awareness? Our bodies are represented by the dead and hollow tree, our flesh and bones will eventually die and decay as well, but at the very heart of this dying shell is the glorious soul, the one thing that makes us more than mere matter and lifts us as individuals out of the cyclical pattern of life and death.

Jazz, Pastel, 36 x 24

“JAZZ” is a fusion of several passions bringing together the senses; audio, visual, touch, as well as my passionate love of Jazz, the male form and the effect light has on both. Using light and color I juxtaposed the hard metal of the alto saxophone and the supple texture of flesh. The saxophone is imbued with golden hues that denote warmth while the player is rendered in cooler colors of white, blue, purple and violet. I wanted to give the sensation that the player is emptying himself into the saxophone creating the soulful sound of jazz from within himself as well as through the musical instrument itself.

The Nephilim, Pastel on Paper, 28 x 21.5

In the Hebrew Torah as well as the Christian Old Testament there is a reference to “the sons of God,” or Angels, being sexually attracted to and marrying “the daughters of men,” which gave rise to a breed of creature that was half angel-half man. The Bible calls these beings “Nephilim,” which in Hebrew means, “those causing others to fall.” Thus the creatures, the children of angels and men were forever labeled as “bad.” But what if rather than being born with an inborn bent toward what is wrong, they were free to choose between good and evil, just as humans are.

Using that as a jumping point I wanted to portray what I felt a Nephilim would look like without the negative connotations of the past traditions; a mingling of the Heavenly and the earthly, a child of both the spiritual realm and the sensual world of flesh and bone. Not satisfied with “just” an ordinary Nephilim I added my interpretation, and that is that this particular Nephilim is also gay. This Nephilim craves to join the purity of spirit with the passion of physical union. This Nephilim embodies the best of both worlds, the spiritual and the physical, making him a creature that “causes others to fall in love,” with who and what they are.

Spicer graduated Sigma Cum Laud from Murray State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and sculpture. In addition to this training he has studied with and taught numerous artists in both figurative art and portraiture. An award-winning artist, Spicer’s paintings are included in both private and corporate collections nationally and internationally.

After spending several years as a freelance artist and illustrator he established Wolf Studios, his professional fine art portraiture studio in 1992, where he has enjoyed great success as a commissioned portrait painter. Trained in the traditions of the realistic masters, Spicer is adept at rendering accurate, soulful images. With a childlike wonder and a personal philosophy founded in a theological and Native American background, Spicer is not content until every until every image reaches its artistic apex.


More Artists at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

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Tags: art

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