Having grown up surrounded by natural beauty in the Hamptons, New York, Runway Gallery artist Jeff Muhs has always been passionate about nature.
From his hand-built studio in Southampton, New York, he works primarily with oil on canvas, but also experiments with concrete to create striking sculptures.
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We talk to Jeff about his creative approach, art as an investment and why a little procrastination isn’t necessarily a bad thing…
Five minutes with Jeff Muhns
I take artistic inspiration from my surroundings
‘I grew up in the Hamptons and my father was a hunting and fishing guide, so I was out on the water with him as a young child from sunrise to sunset.
‘I’ve always been passionate about drawing and painting, so it seemed natural for me to study at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where I learned the traditional techniques of oil painting. I moved back to the Hamptons afterwards and have lived and worked here ever since.’
Some people say my paintings look like stone or marble
‘To me, each piece is a landscape painting – nature’s beauty distilled and rearranged into its most basic forms: light, colour and space. Think of it as a reflection in a puddle – you might not even notice it until somebody points it out to you. That’s what I’m trying to do through my paintings.’
‘Oil on canvas is my main medium, but I’ve always been a sculptor. I learned the art of wood sculpting from my father when I was a child, but it wasn’t until I built my first house that I discovered concrete as a medium. I became fascinated by it and have been experimenting ever since.’
‘Unlike my paintings, my sculptures are driven primarily by process and form; I love discovering new ways to create shapes.’
My creative process begins with procrastination
‘I start by making new tools to work with, from brushes to easels. I spend a lot of time visualising and planning the work I’m about to undertake, winding myself like a spring until the tension is released and the actual creating begins.’
‘It can take anything from twenty minutes to a month to make a painting. Most of that time is just spent looking – observing what’s beautiful about it and how to further enhance that.’
I consider art as an investment in your quality of life
‘Few things exist solely for pleasure. I think that large, visually dynamic works benefit from being isolated in their own space, but there’s something beautiful about the poetry of grouping seemingly non-related works.’
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Runway Gallery is an online venture showcasing contemporary, affordable art from Jeff Muhs and other artists. Discover more at runway-gallery.com.
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