The lyrical figures of painter Jason Juan
Female Model, oil on linen, 24 x 30 in.
by Michael Accorsi
Peruse Jason Juan’s expressive, figurative work with your favorite music playing and glass of wine – it’s an experience within itself. I had the opportunity to interview Jason this past week for EIL – enjoy!
MA: Tell us a little about your art background and studio. Where do you do most of your work?
Jason Juan: I recently moved to Bay Area. The art scene is still new to me at this point. For the last nine years I lived in Seattle and worked with Eastside Artists Collaborative, Gage Academy of Art, and Art or Not Terminal. I learned a great deal at EAC which is run by Larine Chung. We started to incorporate windows with natural light to the settings which create the best quality of lighting on the subjects.
Artist, oil on linen, 12 x 16 in.
Artist is a portrait of my artist friend. It is such a joy when a painting got done so smoothly and everything just feel right. If the setting and lighting are right, the painting is halfway done. When I was painting him, he was actually drawing as well until the last ten minutes I asked him to look at me so I could finish the eyes.
MA: Can you tell us the methods you use to start a large work?: (sketches, smaller mock-ups, etc.)
Jason Juan: Before I paint a large sized painting, I prepare a smaller oil sketch usually around 9”x 12” to 16”x20”, or Charcoal/Pencil sketch which is usually 8.5”x 11”. With large work, it has to be done in several stages. I prefer to paint straight for a few hours so the canvas is still wet or wait for another week until it totally dried so I can work on it again. Sometimes sandpaper is used in the process especially for the smooth area such as skin before I put another layer of paint. I also paint over my old work a lot if some of the abstract elements in the old work is something I was to help in the composition for the new painting.
Temptation, oil on Linen, 24 x 30 in.
Temptation is a painting I developed from a quick sketch at one of my drawing sessions. The primary sketch is pictured below.
MA: What I enjoy about your figurative work is the interplay between realistic classical figurative work, then some interpretive contemporary twists and loose styles – how does this ability to have versatility work for you?
Jason Juan: I believe the contemporary twists and loose styles you saw in my paintings were from what I learn in Chinese calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy contains many elements which I feel has big connection with human figures, and sometimes I even feel they could be the same such as certain curve lines, compositions, and the power of the strokes.
Figure Sketch, carbon pencil on paper
MA: Are there any contemporary artists that you admire or made impressions on your work?
Jason Juan: There are many contemporary artists who have inspired my work. Here are just few of them: Chuck Close, Lucian Freud, David Leffel, Jeremy Lipking, Nikolay Blokhin and Carl Jackson, who is one of my instructors in school, and he shared personal and painting experience with me while I was learning to draw between 2002-2005.
The Light #3, oil on canvas, 22 x 28 in.
MA: Where can interested collectors see and purchase you work?
Jason Juan: I worked on both traditional media and digital media. Waterhouse Gallery at Santa Barbara carry some of my oil paintings. Visit my blog or contact me for more detail info if you are interested in more paintings and limited archival paintings of my digital works.
Jason Juan in his studio
Jason Juan is a traditional and digital artist working in the San Francisco Bay area. After working for nine years in the Seattle art scene Juan is making an impression on contemporary artists across California. See more of his work and drop him a note on his blog or his website.