Charles Jay, Paris, 1983
Jay considers himself to be a self-taught artist. Although he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for two semesters, he left the program to pursue his practice on his own in Paris, learning from the Dutch and Flemish still life paintings he encountered at the Louvre.
Jay’s flowers are based on recognizable prototypes, but they are painted from the imagination without models, freely invented in color, pattern, and form. Every flower is presented as if at the height of perfection and full bloom; wilt or decay has no place in Jay’s invented world of vitality. Insects are to be found throughout, making the arrangements seem even more “abuzz” with life.
Usually composing directly on his canvases without preliminary sketches, Jay continues to paint still lifes in his Morton, Pennsylvania studio. He has shown his work at the West Chester Art Association, the Fleisher/Ollman Gallery and Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, and at the Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut.