The Grand Magazine, 2015

JEFF DILLON is a Canadian fine artist located in Waterloo Ontario, Canada. At a very early age Jeff was drawn into the natural world, often wandering in field and forest collecting leaf specimens and learning to differentiate between the plants, wildlife, and birds of Manitoba, and Ontario. This love of nature expanded over the years to include a fascination with the changeable weather patterns of every season. Watching storm patterns made him highly aware of the ever-changing cloudscape of a prairie sky, and the fast-moving thunderclouds of a hot midsummers day rainstorm. During June, July, and August Jeff would be up early and out of the house on his bike spending most of every day occupied in outdoor play in the farm fields, woods, and country roads around his family home. Jeff would not have known this then, but his boyhood adventures spent discovering the countryside would form an inner eye for detail and colour that became the signature style of his artwork today. As time passed, Jeff began to study horticulture, and weather patterns, eventually sketching his ideas and images on the page, and then much later to the canvas.

Throughout his life Jeff has longed to bring the tranquility and beauty of the outdoors inside, and to share it with others. In his early thirties Jeff immersed himself in his painting, working after hours and late into the night after family and job commitments were fulfilled. He has described the urge to paint as a need, a calling of sorts, that if ignored for too long produces an uncomfortable frisson that can only be satisfied by painting.

 In the beginning, Jeff painted for the sheer pleasure and escapism that his art allowed, later committed himself to a daily practice. With a desire to improve his craft and find a community of like-minded artists, Jeff joined a local art group taking classes in sketching both human and urban forms.

As both his skill and confidence increased Jeff began to exhibit his paintings in galleries and art shows and received considerable notice and acclaim for his bold, colourful, and dynamic style. With a growing following, Jeff launched a social media presence on Instagram and Facebook quickly amassing 25,000 avid followers.

Jeff explained that the creative process is a blend of patience, practice, and perseverance. The originality of his work is enhanced by his particular talent with colour. A painting is a vibrant almost living thing while it is being created, and because of the nature of creation the artist is in relationship with the canvas, the image, and the energy of each piece of art.

Jeff’s art has become intricately and beautifully complex in both its intensity of colour, and in the shadow and light work of his backgrounds. Whether it is the animated face of a grey wolf, or the intense stare of a snowy owl, the wildlife in his paintings are brought to life by his skill with the brush and his understanding of the behaviours of each animal. Not to be limited to nature, Jeff has experimented successfully with urban landscapes, playing with the effect of light on architectural and historical settings.

Jeff marks his artistic influences as many, but admires in particular the work of Canadian artist Lawren Harris for his use of dark against light, and Vincent van Gogh for the genius of his brushstrokes and his deep reverence for the natural world.

With a goal of one hundred paintings in his lifetime. Jeff has already surpassed that number and I currently completed over 160 pieces. Jeff is confident that the rest of his years will be spent in his studio, brush in hand, as he brings to life on the canvas the world he fell in love with as a child.