No. 3. The Tales Old Houses Tell

Oil on Canvas 24 x 18 • $650 in Solid Hardwood Frame

I was pleased and surprised to learn that my Oil Painting “The Tales Old Houses Tell” was awarded first place in Oil/Acrylic/Watercolor at the Keystone Fine Art Juried Exhibition at the Walk-In Art Center Schuylkill Haven, PA. The Juror was Jason Travers of the School of Art, Architecture, and Design at Lehigh University. Here is what he said about it:
“I found this painting to be captivating and likely the most engaging piece in the exhibition. While the title alludes to architecture and nostalgia, there was something deeply personal that translated in the expression and ambiguity of the work. Although architectural imagery was present, it slipped into a more psychological space where inside and outside could not be differentiated. The suggestions of biomorphic presence allowed for an elusive narrative that left much to personal interpretation. The subdued palette with its melancholy drips, softened blends and raw brushwork conveyed an honest communion between artist and subject. An exceptionally moving piece, that leaves the viewer with more questions than answers.”

Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography, Encaustic Art, and Oil Painting He is an outstanding location photographer and painter, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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