We shared great food with art lovers at Orchid Thai Cuisine in Winter Park last night to celebrate my cover as featured artist in the September issue of Winter Park Magazine.
Art Director Lynne Polley put together a terrific layout and has shared the issue with us here; I especially like her choice of “Titmouse” for the cover, these little birds are quite entertaining at the feeder in the morning…
From the article:
Artist Jeff League, 41, explores the possibilities of photography on canvas. His recent work combines fine art photography with the medium of encaustic painting (beeswax and resin). The Winter Park resident says the medium, originally used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, allows him to explore myth and nature in his work.
League is a visual storyteller trained at the Crealdé School of Art in Winter Park. He uses an involved process to cultivate distinctive visual compositions built upon layers of expanding and saturated pigments, dreamlike textures and haunting silhouettes. This allows League to explore painting, surface texture, and size that he could not in his previous Polaroid or black-and-white photography.
Drawing inspiration from archetypal or representative imagery with mythical references, he uses crows in many of his pieces, alluding to their role as messengers in Greek mythology. The crows, League says, are messengers to the modern audience warning us of our effect on the environment. He keeps his imagery simple, with abstract color painting or ancient maps in the background and archetypal imagery in the forefront.
League’s work is displayed in galleries and private collections across the United States. The Polk Museum, The Museum of Florida Art, Orlando Museum of Art, and The Austrian Super Circuit, in Linz, Austria, have exhibited his work. Polaroid Corporation has selected his photography for its permanent collection.
WHICH ARTISTS HAVE INSPIRED AND INFLUENCED YOU?
I draw my inspiration from many people. California glass artist William Morris’ use of primitive artifacts and imagery is simple, primal and speaks to my soul.
I am drawn to Swedish glass artist Bertil Vallien’s work depicting spirit boats carrying the souls to the afterlife; whether or not you believe in that.
American mythologist, writer and lecturer, Joseph Campbell is a favorite writer and is best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion.
The way that black-and-white photographer Vincent Serbin flaunts the proper way to process photos – cutting, taping, and drawing on photographic negatives – is very expressive to me.
Local artist, personal friend, and sometimes collaborator Tony Eitharong has influenced me. Everyone in the art community knows Tony – what can I say.
The lyrics of Neil Peart, drummer for the band Rush, inspire poetic imagery. I’ve been a Rush geek since I was 10 years old.
WHEN AND WHERE DO YOU WORK?
I do a lot of my work in my head, in that space between asleep and awake – sitting in the morning with my coffee, watching the birds at the feeder. The actual production of my ideas in studio is just executing the steps that I’ve already worked out in my head. I work from the end result backwards through the process. For the past couple of years, most of my studio time has been relegated to nights and weekends, so having it all thought out ahead of time works for me.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECTS?
I’ve been fascinated with birds since I was a small child. I’m especially drawn to the crow because of
its high level of intelligence. I’m intrigued by Greek, Asian and Norse myths that portray the crow as either god or messenger.
DESCRIBE YOUR WORK STYLE?
My work could be labeled as natural and figurative presented in an abstract context with emotional colors – both vibrant and subtle.
WHAT MEDIUMS DO YOU USE?
I use a mixture of watercolor and reproductions of antique maps in the background. I build my imagery with a mixture of black-and-white photo transfer, encaustic (beeswax and resin) painting, oils and metal leaf – all layered on and between the layers of wax medium and flamed with a blowtorch.
I’m exploring and now developing my body of work in this subject matter in cast glass. I studied with Daniel Clayman at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina this summer.
“Follow the white rabbit” . . .