Get to Know: Jeff Perrault

May Dance- Jeff Perrault

When did you start paintng or drawing?

You know whenever an artist gets asked this question invariably 99.9 %

of them are going to give the same answer and I’m no exception – “Ever

since I can remember”. To be more specific I began studying drawing

with real awareness about 20 years ago, painting about eleven years

ago and oils four years ago.

 What artist or artists do you consider as having the greatest

influence on your work?

On my computer I keep a file of artists and their paintings that I

admire. There are over 3000 paintings and approximately 125 artists.

They all influence my work. Some that come to mind right away for

their distinctive American voice are: Winslow Homer, J.S. Sargent,

Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth and Fairfield Porter. Contemporary

artists: Jeremy Lipking, Robert Liberace, Michael Workman, Alex

Kanevsky, Jon Redmond, Ignat Ignatov…. The list is very long. Just

recently I became interested in Russian artists after pulling a book

on Serov from Tom Buechner’s shelf, and after visiting Gallery Russia

in Scottsdale, AZ.

 Why do you mostly paint Figures and Portraits?

That would be a very long answer. The short answer is this – for six

years I was a deputy in a Coroner’s Office. I saw the human body in

just about every state imaginable, most of it ugly. So I want to

celebrate the beauty of the human form, the symmetry and perfection in

all of us, the spark we all carry inside.

 What was the best advice you ever received that has helped you

with your art?

Squint. PAINT A LOT! Squint. And this quote from Daniel Coyle’s The Talent Code:

“1. Pick a target.

2. Reach for it.

3. Evaluate the gap between the target and the reach.

4. Return to step one”

 If you could only pass along one piece of advice to a young

artist, what would that be?

“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett

 Do you have a favorite piece of art by someone other than

yourself? How about by you?

My own favorites are the ones that sell…or my next painting. Favs by

another artist…out of the almost infinite history of painting two

spring immediately to mind: Andrew Wyeth’s ‘Evening at Kuerner’s and

‘The Sorcerer’ cave painting at Trois-Freres. Oh and Constable’s

‘Cloud Studies’ and Sargent’s ‘Lady Agnew’ and Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a

Pearl Earring’ and…and…can I keep going?

 Do you listen to music when you work? If so, could you share a few

titles or artists?

Yes, I have my iTunes library. The silence in the house can be

oppressive on Monday mornings…but my secret pleasure is listening

to podcasts of Radio 606. It’s a call-in radio show in England

concerning Premier League Football (soccer) with all the gossip and

dirt from the week.

Favorite book?

Impossible!  The best I can give are three books I’ve read in the past year

that had a major impact on how I work: “The Talent Ccode” by Daniel

Coyle, Robert Moretti’s “Practice Made Perfect” and ” Your Brain at

Work” by David Rock. Best fiction from the past year would prob be

“The Swan Thieves”.

Favorite movie?

Right now I really like Pride & Prejudice. The DP’s work in that movie

was amazing.

Favorite local performance?

Whenever one of my two kids scores a goal during the weekend’s soccer

games. Now THAT I’ll cheer!

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