Artrepreneur: Thanks again for working with us to determine the winners of our Art Elevated contest! You were recommended to us through the Art Students League, where you teach…
Jerry Weiss: Yes, it also happens to be where I studied, and where my parents originally met (George Bridgman’s class to be precise), so I have quite a history there. I was originally raised in Southern Florida, although I knew I wanted to study as an artist at the Art Students League in New York. I moved to study there after time spent studying in Miami, FL. Eventually, I moved from New York to New Jersey, then on to Connecticut where I live now. I’ve lived and worked in Chester, CT since 1994.
Artrepreneur: Tell us more about your trajectory as a painter. Did you begin working as a figurative or landscape painter first?
Weiss: I have always worked in both, but my surroundings have played an important role. Living and working in New York City, my work involved more figure drawing and live painting. It just came more naturally being in the City, where artists are surrounded by live models for drawing. As a result, I started more as a figure painter but then began working more in landscape painting as my surroundings changed, depending on where I was living at the time. Immersed in the solitude of natural Connecticut, I frequently paint en plein air. Here, surrounded by forests, I can work on landscapes at different times of the day and in different locations. I prefer to paint from life, on a large scale, and I work rapidly. Quality draftsmanship has always been a crucial element of my practice, whether painting figures or landscapes. It helps to refer to abstraction as well when forming representational compositions, as it forces the eye to consider how to structure a landscape or figure across the picture plane.
Artrepreneur: Can you walk us through what you’re working on now? Figurative or landscape painting?
Weiss: As they have always both been equally important aspects of my practice, I continue to work in both although when I am in Connecticut I am working more on landscapes.