Jac Kephart

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Jac  Kephart formatting When Jac Kephart returned to abstract art after several decades as a noted landscape painter, he got an unexpected bonus. He discovered that his years of depicting the land in a realistic way had deepened his understanding of its structure, and that his command of painting techniques was immeasurably richer.

For the past few years, the artist has worked with renewed energy on mixed media paintings that reflect his long love affair with the land.

Living amid the deserts and canyons of the Colorado Rockies, Kephart creates compositions that have a grand scale and geological depth that resolve the luminous textures of their surfaces.

His use of different materials, inspired in part by a museum exhibit of Egyptian art, gives his abstractions a sculptural feel. "The ancient Egyptians worked with tars, asphaltum, metals, and powders, and produced some amazing results even with crude substances.

He also looked at the metals, cements, and clays used in Aztec and African masks and sculptures. He thought "with all the materials we have available today, why was I not using them?"

Kephart starts with birch board as a base, and attaches metallics to it with nails and glue. He uses aluminum, copper, brass sheets and gold leafing. He adds tars, burlap and rusty metal, including old tin cans, for texture.

He then applies several coats of transparent and opaque paints and sands portions of the composition so that earlier layers show through.

The light works its way back through the layers, creating the inner radiance for which his paintings are known.

"What used to be a great experience with paint is now super with these new materials," he says. "They give me a lot of room for expansion, but they still retain the emotional feel I'm after."

Check out Kephart's paintings in our collection.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I have been painting professionally for over 40 years—starting out as an abstract painter in the 1950’s and 60’s. I switched over to traditional landscape painting for 30 years. Painting in many different mediums (watercolor, pastel, and oil) and experimental techniques for all these years has given me a foundation for the abstracts, which I have been doing since the 1990’s. I find the ability to do both landscapes and abstracts gives me a better perspective and direction for both styles.

The inspiration for the current abstract work began with a tour of an Egyptian Museum. The ancient Egyptians worked with tars, asphaltum, metals, and powders and produced some amazing results even with crude substances. I also looked at the metals, cements, and clays used in Aztec and African masks and sculptures. I thought to myself, ‘With all the materials we have available today, why am I not using them?’”

Kephart starts with birch board as a base, and attaches metallics to it. He uses aluminum, copper, brass sheets, and gold leafing. He adds tars, burlap, and rusty metal for texture. Kephart then applies several coats of transparent and opaque paints, and sands portions of the compositions so that earlier layers show through. The light works its way back through the layers, creating the inner radiance for which his paintings are known.

What used to be a great experience with paints is now super with these new materials. They give me a lot of room for expansion, but they still retain the emotional feel I’m after.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2013

“Spectrum”, Group Show, Matthews Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2007

50 Year Retrospective Exhibition, Colorado Fine Arts Center, Grand Junction, CO

Governor’s Exhibition, Loveland, CO

“Process Is The Subject,” Solo Exhibition, Deloney Newkirk Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

COLLECTIONS

United Banks Service Corporation International

Norwest Banks Exxon Corporation

Sisters of Charity Hospitals Estee Lauder Corporation

First Bancard


ARTICLES

  Jac_Kephart_Artist_Biography.pdf