Painting has always been one of my greatest passions. From my early childhood to the present, I have always loved and been inspired by color, paint and the life God has introduced me to.
Up until the early 1980's, my painting has primarily involved the use of the figure - either in imaginary human situations, on the side of narrative, to the emotionally diverse and direct use of paint and singular figurative expressionism.
My life as a creative being is a continuous pilgrimage and process of discovery. The paintings represented in this book were stimulated by my adventures with two-thousand-year-old olive trees in Israel. A few years ago I was invited to give a demonstration workshop in ceramics at the Bitz Al EL Art Institute In Jerusalem. The powerful qualities of nearby aged but timeless trees moved me deeply. They expressed their visceral yet gentle vibration of form and color as they changed in composition with the dance of the light from sunrise to sunset.
Traveling throughout the Holy Land, I depicted the olive trees using pastel crayons. I was fortunate to view olive groves from the Mount of Olives to Bethlehem, and from Gethsemane to the Dome of the Rock. Often I gave the finished studies to individuals of all ethnicities and faiths in gratitude for gaining passage into forbidden areas in order to capture a specific tree or for the collaboration of shared moments of their witnessing.
Thereafter, those arboreal memories and intimate and sacred moments with God burst into the paintings whose images you now hold in your hands. As in the preceding 30 Haystack Rock Paintings inspired by a visit to the Oregon coast, my pastels of the trees and the recollections of them, enhanced by the angelic music I listen to, propel my heart and hand to joyfully layer juicy paint on canvas. Whatever medium I respond to experience with, whether two-dimensional or three, my inspiration takes form in passionate expression. As an artist for more than forty years and a visually-attuned person of the world, my mind is filled with images, yet these paintings came forth without planning or pre-conceived ideas. I call this having ECO’s – my own personal “Explosive Creative Outbursts.” The pictures created are a living Will as is the creative process of my life, working as one within the love and a Grace of my Heavenly Father.
My hope is to share my life’s work with all the Universe and with all the love in it. May God’s light always shine upon you and guide your way.
In 1983 while visiting Cannon Beach, Oregon with an old friend I was completely swept away and passionately inspired by "Haystack Rock", the surrounding rugged Oregon Coast landscape and Great Pacific ocean. Haystack Rock has a hidden volcanic energy of expressions and faces, which were revealed to me in a Biblical sense that could only come directly from my Almighty Father.
I began to have a romance and intimate relationship with this monumental 330 ft. towering Rock, just yards off the beach, and all the rest of the encompassing terrain and ocean. The trees, mountains, dunes, grasses, ocean waves and constantly changing atmosphere of the light, wind, rain and mist. If VanGogh and Monet could have been with me there at this holy ground of painterly exuberance and inspiration, no doubt we would have painted side by side and become good friends. Somehow through the Spirit of God I know they were guiding me and watching over me.
Working from creation, with the power of God's inspiration and love behind, in the midst and in front of me; has propelled me into an eternal and fully charged adventure of painting from creation - even now the newest works of Galaxies. This hand held unconditional love and teaching from the Creator of the Universe himself - in all areas of my creative endeavors - has given me a sense of peace, fulfillment, and endless childlike enthusiasm in the process of my Artistic Journey...Never-ending and always giving.
Jeff Whyman October 2020