J. Wesley Willis
CITY SCAPES OF ASTORIA, OREGON
& LANDSCAPES OF THE NORTH COAST
Painting is a means of exploration - a way to see what best defines a thing or a place. Since I moved to Astoria, I've been seeing and painting the things that feel most essential to this place.
I paint with oil on wood panels, or sometimes canvas panels. Each painting starts with some visual interest in a landscape or sculpture. The interest evolves from a photograph to a drawing on a gessoed panel, then a tone map - a monochromatic underpainting. Then the color begins. Most paintings involve three to five sessions, with breaks in between where I can look at them on my studio wall.
Once I've completed a piece, I no longer think of it as my art. It's somebody else's. It's an artifact of a process which belongs to me, but I don't think of the painting itself as mine. I don't even think of it as real at first. It comes into being when you see it and connect with it. That's meaning-making. The process and that connection are my rewards. The art itself if for you.