THIS WEEK WE SAT DOWN AND HAD A CONVERSATION WITH JEREMY LANGSTON...
Who are some art Heroes of yours?
I love Bob Ross and how he inspires others to want to paint. I'm not a huge fan of the way his paintings look but his personality and attitude make him one of my favorites.
"Peering Beyond The Veil" 2014
What would be your dream art job?
Getting paid to sit at home and paint all day. With the occasional trip for reference material/research.
Do you have artistic rituals in your practice?
I need music or a movie on, unless I'm outside. A yummy drink helps too (mocha). Other than that not really.
"A World in Hindsight" 2014
What's more important to you, process or end result?
Definitely the process. I love a good end result but I show up for the process.
"The Afterlife" 2020
What have you learned about your own work through being an instructor?
That the elements of color, hue, intensity, and value are very important and that color communicates way more than one might imagine. I'm a lot more interested in getting color to do what I want, to fulfill the needs of my paintings goals than I was before teaching. I think you can see the shift in my bodies of work, at least with my range of color use.
"Jarred Veggies" 2016
Which do you identify with most? Early Bird , Night Owl, or Sleepy Bear?
Definitely night owl mixed with sleepy bear! I'd much rather be awake than sleeping. I can easily stay up painting till 1am. Although I'm trying to find a new balance because I'm envious of those early bird types. In my perfect world I would get to sleep from 9am-5pm so every day I can enjoy the golden hours, watching the sunset and sunrise, and avoid the heat of the day. I have a lot more energy after sunset for some reason.
What kind of art do you wish you could make if you're not already doing so?
Sculpture! I love working with wood. I'd love to learn to weld metal too! Big outdoor public work. I also really want to make stained glass windows but haven't found the time yet to make that happen, but I'm closer to that than the welding dream haha.
Where would you like to visit to make art or to inspire art?
Everywhere! I need more traveling in my life. I'm very interested in places that are thought of as sacred or revered for one reason or another. Places with a long history of folklore about it.
"Shapes and Stuff" 2020
Whats your philosophy on teaching?
I think learning should be fun and not a chore. I try to be patient and understanding but also try to push the student to be better than they were yesterday. Diamonds need pressure to be made after all.
"When It Was Pepper's Turn To Talk" 2020
Why should someone want to take a class from you?
I always try to understand what the artistic goals of my students are so I can help them achieve those goals in the best way I can. I enjoy all modes of drawing and painting and have found that the goals when painting realism aren't the same as the goals for non representational art or painterly style versus a more tight style. So my advice might be completely different from one student to the next. I also try to have no expectations of style or skillsets, so that all feel relaxed and welcome in my classes. I like classes where experienced and newcomers are there together so that newer artists can learn from more experienced artists so that everyone in the room can benefit from the range of advice they overhear me giving. I make sure to answer all questions loudly. Teaching has taught me that repetition is the best way to learn. Even experienced artists benefit from hearing the answers to questions newer artists have.
"Countryside Road", 2020
What was your first art job? first piece of art sold?
My first piece of art sold was in middle school. It was a colored pencil Harpy Eagle that my 7th grade science teacher commissioned from me after she saw the eagle drawings I was making at the time. Proudest $40 bucks I ever made. My first art job was in my early twenties when I originally dropped out of college and started a mural and decorative painting company in Denver, CO. I did that for about 10 years before I decided to go back to school and finish my degree in art. Eventually I pursued going to Grad school so I could transition into teaching and focusing on paintings instead of walls. That is what brought me to Illinois.
2006, painting on the HGTV show "Carter Can" Denver Episode
Dog or Cat or Both or Neither?
Both for sure! Which is why I don't get to travel much. I have a hard time with the idea of sheltering my pets while I go play somewhere without them.
"Winter Canyon" 2022
"Canyon Tower" 2022
What are you currently working on?
My website, I'm currently transferring it to a new platform. Meanwhile I've been working on a series of landscapes inspired from photos from my drone mostly. But I usually alter my photos to suit a more visually poetic composition.
"Canyon River" 2022
What are your future plans for your art practice?
To be better than I was yesterday.
You can currently find Jeremy at the McLean County Arts Center, working as the Director of Education and proctoring the Tuesday Evening Painting Class. Jeremy has taught at Heartland Community College, Illinois State University, Eureka college, and Bradley University and paints for pleasure and to fulfill commissions in Bloomington.
If you'd like to take a class with Jeremy this fall you can sign up July 25th, if you're a member with our early bird Enrollment. Nonmembers can sign up on the 27th.
Some student comments on Jeremy's classes:
"The improvements made to the ceramics space in the past year are fantastic and Jeremy is doing a great job…everything is going great from my perspective"
"Jeremy is able to meet each student at their specific level, He can tell you areas that could be improved and instruct you on how to do it. He is encouraging."
"I believe it is a very popular class. The only improvement I could suggest would be to offer larger classes!"
"Jeremy's teaching - great balance between instructing, demonstrating, and giving students time to explore."
"I like the open studio atmosphere so you can hear and see what everyone is doing. Easy to pick up a lot of technique that way."
"The instruction and that we were free to explore it in many different ways - just the right amount of structure."
"Jeremy is a very good instructor. He seemed to know many of the students very well but did not show them favoritism. He both explained and demonstrated in an interesting interactive manner"
"Jeremy was very informative and helpful. He has a true artist's eye and gave constructive comments."
"The instructor is excellent. I have learned so much from him. He allows you to work at your own pace and on a subject that interests the student"
"Jeremy's ability to work with everyone's different skill level and subject matter effectively. We could also learn from listening to instruction/questions of other students."
*all photos courtesy of the Artist (Jeremy Langston)