This is a painting simply about the joy of discovery while walking along the beach. No matter how often you comb the shoreline looking for whatever the sea has offered up that day, you will almost always see something new or intriguing. Even if it is something you have seen before, perhaps the state of mind you are in when you see it again gives you a whole new perspective. Such was the case early this past Spring when I looked down at these seagull tracks in the sand. I noticed how the gull walked around these shells almost as if he had come over to check them out, saw they weren't keepers and moved on, sort of like a beachcomber. I love the fact that there are footprints in the sand other than ours.
"Every afternoon I take a break from the studio and go for a walk around Beaufort. Many years ago when I first started taking these walks it seemed that I was always looking at the big picture here, trying to take in all I could in one big sweeping view. But over the years I've felt myself being drawn to the smaller things, the quiet little details that, once discovered, contain all if not more of what the big view could ever deliver. This painting "The Cottage by the Sea" features only a couple of details of a small cottage I pass by every day, but it's all I needed to put in there to get the emotion across. Painting the whole scene would have diluted it and it would then have been just a cottage painting, but not an emotion."
"Pamlico County is one of my favorite haunts. The rural saltiness of it puts my soul at ease. Two of my favorite places to be are amongst the shrimp boats and alongside a marsh. The marsh depicted in this painting is in Bayboro right off the road to Vandemere. On the other side of the road are shrimp boat docks and a large fish house complex....at moments like that the rest of the world just blissfully melts away."
"I have always been fascinated by these windswept, windsheared and windlashed live oak trees that are so iconic along the southeast coast...Many years ago after a particularly damaging hurricane season, the salt laden wind burned all the vegetation along the route mentioned above and left the live oaks completely bare. I observed the skeletal silhouettes of these wickedly windlashed oaks...the "skeletons" of these craggy old trees formed shapes that could only resemble the long boney arms and spindly fingers of witches reaching out from the dunes...when it's leafed out as I've painted it, it looks like a flaming broom streaking through the sky."
About Metalpoint Drawing
"Commonly referred to as "silverpoint", metalpoint's origins date back before the Medieval period when scribes would use a metal stylus to create manuscripts on clay tablets and later on parchment. As the use of metalpoint expanded and with the introduction of paper, artists began using this tool to create drawings. Leonardo da Vinci used metalpoint extensively as did many other artists of the Renaissance period through to the 17th century. Then as new techniques in oil painting began to take hold, metalpoint began its descent into obscurity and when graphite became the artists' drawing tool of choice, metalpoint was all but forgotten yet not lost. There have been a handful of artists that have kept the medium in usage and at times its popularity has briefly spiked. It is a very labor intensive and time consuming technique which does not allow for erasures. Once a mark is made it is permanent. Although it creates the most beautiful of drawings, its challenging characteristics have probably dissuaded most artists from using it. Metalpoint drawings are created by first preparing a sheet of paper with several coats of a specially formulated ground until the surface is perfectly smooth. Once the surface is ready a metal wire-like stylus is used to very delicately deposit metal onto the surface using layer upon layer of marks until the proper value or "shade" has been achieved. The metals most often used are pure silver, 24K gold, sterling silver and copper. Platinum is also used at times. I use primarily 24K gold and pure silver. The drawing qualities of each metal are different with the gold producing the most delicate and glowing lines and the silver a light to a very dark line which will oxidize (tarnish) over a few weeks to produce a beautifully warm tone. In the last decade there have been a couple of artists who have put metalpoint drawing seriously back on the map but sadly one passed away a few years ago, Dennis J. Martin. Victor Koulbak a Russian immigrant who lives in Paris is the other artist who continues to produce metalpoint drawings of extraordinary beauty. I particularly appreciate the technique because of the challenges it presents. It makes completion of a drawing all the more rewarding."
Jack Saylor received a BS degree in painting from Barton College in Wilson North Carolina. Immediately after graduating he traveled to Spain and Italy where he began his pursuits as an artist while also working as a product designer for Sarreid Ltd., a U.S. based home furnishings importer. For the next 10 years this experience allowed Jack to work side by side with artists and artisans in their centuries old studios throughout Spain and Italy. During this time Jack became very knowledgeable in old world studio practices involving numerous art forms utilized in the creation of the objects he was designing particularly in Florence Italy while at the same time continuing to develop and hone his own painting skills. Living in Florence amongst some of the greatest art ever created afforded Jack the opportunity to study intensely the art of Western Europe particularly the
Italian Renaissance which remains a source he draws upon today. After settling down and marrying in the U.S., Jack and his wife Ann moved to the coast of their native state of North Carolina in 1995. The sea, a lifelong passion and constant subject for Jack, would now be his home and would provide a constant feed of inspiration that would inform his work in a way that would not be possible from a distance. Jack and his wife live in the old seaport town of Beaufort, NC whose
inlet leads directly out to sea. It is home to many early 18th century houses as well as the 1718 shipwreck believed to be the pirate Blackbeard's flagship "Queen Anne's Revenge". The artwork of Jack Saylor is extensively held in private and corporate collections throughout the country.
For most of my adult life I have lived and painted by the sea. At first because I wanted to and later because I had to. It is my source. As an artist I try to express myself as clearly as I can, while taking myself out of the work and making way for whatever will emerge. I have no interest in presenting some stylistic flourish or flair through brushwork etc. Instead I want to present a crystal clear depiction of the expression I wish to make by way of the craft of painting, not the act of painting. I often approach my subject matter not square-on, but indirectly from an angle of sorts and thus present it in the same manner. I believe that suggesting a subject can be infinitely more powerful than depicting it entirely and it is through this approach that a viewer can be enticed into creating the unseen parts by way of their own experiences and at that point the dimensions of the work become limitless.