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               Jed Jackson, I'm feeling a little crazy…Maybe it's all that FREE THINKING, 2014, Gouache

               Jed Jackson, I'm feeling a little crazy…Maybe it's all that FREE THINKING, 2014, Gouache

Lecture / Discussion  |  Creating Color and Light-Opaque and Transparent Pigment in Watercolor

Friday, May 23, 2014, 12–2 pm

Jed Jackson and Valia Oliver

Enjoy a lunch catered by the Burchfield’s Cafe followed by a presentation by watercolor artists Jed Jackson and Valia Oliver.  Held in the Board Conference room, Jed will talk about his gouache technique emphasizing picture building (layering, cross hatching) and the relative advantages and disadvantages of gouache as an opaque waterborn pigment application system.  Val will show recent watercolors which explore novel figure- ground relations using transparent watercolor technique and advanced materials.

Friday, May 23, 2014

At 12:00 noon join Jed and Val for lunch followed by their presentations

Cost for members is $12 for lunch, drink and dessert.  $20 not-yet members.

Reservations contact Kathy G. Shiroki at: 716.878.3549 or

R.S.V.P by Monday, May 19th.


Jed Jackson, Painting in Gouache

Over the years my paintings in oil and gouache have coalesced around two dominant concerns. First, the creation of images which mine history and culture for meaningful metaphors, critique and commentary and second, the continuing development of techniques although traditional in inception stretch the possibilities of representation as a contemporary aesthetic practice.

As a painter using opaque watercolor as a medium I have striven to use gouache as a layering technique to create dense images often based on historical poster designs. The heyday of the poster as persuasive propaganda belongs to the period before the development of television. War posters encouraging rationing, thrift, investment and endurance were instrumental in the pre-television eras’ appeals to unified mass action.

My gouache paintings originate in a phrase or idea presently finding currency in the mass media, either print or electronic, and through drawing is translated into a design linking image and text to create an often biting or humorous commentary. The paint is applied exploiting the marvelous opacity of the medium thereby facilitating hatching, layering and strong flat color juxtapositions. My oil painting concerns are very different. There the emphasis is on depth and transparency although the painting as a comment on present or past cultural beliefs and modes remains of first importance.

 Valia Oliver, transparent water color

On the simplest level my work is about color, line shape, value, those elements of construction. What happens with those elements might be visually mysterious, personally emotive or universally recognizable as common experience. In all human experience are patterns, rhythms, geometry and abstraction. This abstract tradition is found in the work of John Marin, Charles Burchfield and Mark Rothko. My work in watercolor is a meditation on reality as fluid rhythm. Past flows to present, present to future then… pause.

The pause is the act of creation--the eye of the hurricane.  Being still, quiet simple, real. A storm, a cultural maelstrom around us requires a rest, a center of calm. The work develops from sketchbook drawing and ideation.  I take ideas from an accumulation of forty years of sketchbooks. Drawn ideas are then developed in mineral pigments on large sheets of heavyweight paper.

The appeal of watercolor lies in its freshness, spontaneity and relationship with paper, its quality of drying quickly. In my current work the recurrence of the

5-lobed shape represents all animal life forms, water-forms, and is a form my arm and hand makes fluidly. The lobed shapes restate the fluidity inherent in the medium of transparent watercolor paint. The layers of perpendicular, grid-like forms represent non-animal structures, rectilinear architecture, linear perspective and logic. These two contrasting rhythms and patterns create tensions. Light and color balance this tension. The suspended particles of pigment react to light by blocking or refracting the light as it reflects from the paper fibers to the eye. The relationship of the eye to the hand, hand to touch is sensual and pleasurable and is part of what I value in these images. So much art today is meant to be seen in a crowd, in photographs or online. The intimate tactile nature of what I am doing in my watercolors is paramount to me.