Jeri Desrochers

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My emotional reaction to the intense light and color of the western landscape inspires me to paint, expressing the joy and life I feel in vivid color and texture. The agricultural lands of the Rio Grande valley have a special place in my heart because I grew up on a small family-run farm. My paintings seek to honor the people who work close to the earth and revere the land that sustains them. Oil paint is my chosen tool to express this vivid landscape. I apply thick glossy paint over glowing transparent washes, a technique gleaned from my experiences as a watercolorist and glass artist. Layering contrasting and complimentary tones next to each other in thick, bold strokes over these transparent passages make the image shimmer and dance with color. These complex layers mixing and mingling in the viewer’s eye creates effects of light similar to those of Pointillism with the contemporary twist of application with a palette knife. For me, painting is about the joy of color and texture; I paint my feelings about the place rather than a strict interpretation of reality. The landscape provides the representational basis for the abstracted play of color in the paint surfaces I create. “To surprise the hungry eye”, poet John O’Donahue’s phrase from “the Artist at the Start of Day”, expresses my desire to create visual surprise and delight, to speak to the eye and soul of the viewer hungry for beauty. That magic between the painter, the painting and the viewer is my ultimate goal.

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