Photo property of Jeff White
Have you ever had your soul... trapped in awe of something so beautiful, so brilliant? When you look at that which has capture your attention, every feeling in your emotional orchestra bubbles to the surface of your skin and you know that something deep inside your spiritual being has been altered?
Well that is what I felt when introduced to the artwork of Jeff White. His work is dominant and demands your attention. He pushes at your emotions to wake you from the deep sleep of your daily life. His use of color has such a profound insight; it’s as if there is a secret message written inside each stroke of paint. The illumination of his work whispers a depth of field that begs you to come forward and walk into the landscape. (In his piece called “Dancing with the Moon” you really get a sense of this.)
There is an impulsive essence in the way the atmosphere is manipulated by enlightenment beyond comprehension…. the clouds inhabiting the fierce hue of the sunset or the tranquil stillness of salacious water… There are not enough words to express what is felt when gazing into Jeff’s work. Here is the artist in his own words….
“Within nature there are forceful, intelligent elements that coexist beside and in spite of humanity. They can not be reasoned with or controlled and have always survived and outlived mankind.”
If you haven’t figured out by now Jeff is a landscape artist and the subject of his work is the brilliance of nature. The merciful flow of a river or the brutal crashing of a storm ...this is the substance stoking the emotional cord when viewing a piece by Jeff White.
I was gifted the opportunity to investigate the man behind the art and here is what I discovered…
Did you always know that you wanted to be a fine artist? When was the “moment” you knew this is what you were meant to do?
No I didn’t always know, in fact I wanted to be a scientist for a long time. I wanted to be an inventor. Then my high school art teacher, Jean McCullock, took me aside and told me I had a natural gift and suggested that I could make a living at being an illustrator - that’s when I started to entertain the idea of pursuing art as a career. But it was really after I had established my career as an illustrator, that becoming a fine artist hit me. I remember the exact moment. I was driving through Central Oregon right after a slash burn from the logging, and I was very disturbed because what was once natural beauty was being destroyed. The beautiful landscapes I had always known now appeared to be left with scars from the logging. It was then that I decided I was going to make it my passion to capture the beauty that exists around me.
Who influenced you as an artist? Who was your mentor?
There are so many artists that influenced me. In chronological order from childhood to present moment here they are main ones: Charles Schultz, Frank Frasetta, NC Wyeth, Michael Angelo, da Vinci, Jacques Louis David, Maxfield Parrish, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, Green and Green brothers, Monet and JW Turner, Andrew Wyeth, Albert Bierstaadt and the Hudson River Painters. As far as mentors go, it’s hard to say because there are so many who I’ve encountered along the way, but all in different aspects from painting, to business, to ingenuity to spirituality.
Are there any hidden messages in your work?
Not direct hidden messages. But there are symbolism in my paintings. For the most part, I would call it personal footnotes through my journey in life. I start each painting with a certain experience or memory, and then without really thinking about it, I just let my paintbrush be a conduit for whatever comes to me, and let the fine artist in me be in control.
Does the current nature of our society have any reflection on your work, if so how?
When it comes to nature, absolutely. Nature has a course and I love trying to capture it. As humans, we also have a course. When I see our society depleting and stripping the landscape it just makes me want to capture it faster. I’d love it if my work someday influenced society’s decision about clear cutting.
How does design relate to fine art?
I think design has a purpose in fine art. But, it can also be a hindrance because it is so formulaic, and fine art is so nebulous. “Form follows function” is a design model I learned, whereas painting follows the heart. I like to bridge the two and bring them together. When I find the balance, it’s always a beautiful union.
Henry Ward Beecher said… “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” I encourage you to view the soul behind Jeff White and consider yourself blessed if you find yourself trapped by emotions of profound measure.
For more about the artist please visit
"Design is conceived when an inherent need to be creative manifests itself into physical or visual form."