Culture » Art Watch

Jacob J. Norris

Dancing with Nature



Jacob Norris is a plein-air oil painter, meaning he paints in the open air. His portfolio is filled with owls, trees, power lines, scenes and colors of Central Oregon, but there is also a magnificent transcendent nature to his work, beyond the range of mere human experience. It is as if he is able to catch things in their hidden moments before they are ready to be seen.

Norris explains that the first strokes of a painting are a deconstruction of the bigger picture. "My process is chaos, beauty, love, friendship and connection," he says.

The chaos and beauty of his life continue to fuel his painting. "I push on," says Norris. "The painting becomes me. I see a hawk, an eagle, a song bird, and they become a stroke atop a tree, swishing through the sky. It becomes a dance with nature," he says. When time stops and the universe opens, he turns the painting over to life and lets the imagination take the abstract and bring it to reality.

That deconstruction is evident in the art, where the horizon above Tumalo Reservoir is an entire world unto itself, roiling and tempestuous. Norris further explains: "Then I begin to organize, separating things into piles. On the canvas this is the division of the horizon, the sky, the Earth and the value of light that brings depth to the painting. At this point I might bring in a daydream of my lover wisping through the woods. I might lose focus; I might get hungry. I might want to stop and make love in the middle of the chaos of dishes, piles of laundry, unmade beds."

Norris had a three-week old baby when he lost his job and decided to put his art into the world. Now he is a husband and father of three, finding inspiration in every aspect of his life.

Jacob Norris' work is showing at Lone Pine Coffee, 845 Tin Pan Alley, Bend and the JEM Raw Organics, 2697 NW Crossing Dr, Bend

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