Charles Jay, Floral Still Life

Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Museum purchase, 2014
21 x 17 in.

Charles Jay’s meticulous paintings of flower arrangements evoke a long tradition of floral still lifes, but his training and approach set him apart from the European artists who preceded him. Although he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for a year and was mentored by professor/artist Arthur De Costa throughout his career, Jay is largely self-taught. He studied the old masters on his own, learning to paint by emulating the works that he admired. In the early 1980s, Jay spent time in Paris, where he continued developing his technique.

Floral Still Life is one in a series of paintings that depict flowers in niches, inspired by Dutch painter Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder. Jay’s vibrant colorism, for example, particularly in the glowing blue of the sky, is the result of his minimal mixing of paints. Rarely making preliminary sketches, Jay continues to create depictions of floral arrangements from his imagination in his Morton, Pennsylvania studio. He has shown his work at the West Chester Art Association, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia, and the Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

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