Jeffrey G. Batchelor
After years of working as a theatrical scenic painter, I had a broad command of many different styles, but when I decided to embark upon my fine art painting career, it was realism that proved to be my strong suit. Although time-consuming and labor-intensive, it was always in realism that I found my voice, and in realism that I was able to stand out from the throngs of hopeful artists. I have continued to reach for higher levels of detail, and to show realism in a way that allows the viewer to see and embrace my subjects with an understanding that they might not have had otherwise. I do not use an airbrush, a tool often prized by artists who paint on my level of realism. I have great respect for those artists who use it well, but I myself prefer glazes and blending, and a more tactile involvement with my work.
Conceptually, my work ranges from straight realism to surrealism, and from rectangular canvases to shaped canvas panels that I build, thanks to my extensive training in theatrical scenic construction. In my glass pieces I seek to produce a spectacle of understanding within complexity. Often working with magnifiers, I delineate and define the myriad of reflections and refractions that exist within thick blown and cut crystal - realism for realism's sake. When realism becomes too constraining for me, I like to reach into surrealism, to take an idea or a concept and develop it with a magical flavor. This allows me to elicit the viewer's thought processes and visually define a concept, idea, or feeling. When a rectangle becomes constraining, I create shaped panels that I paint in trompe-l'oiel fashion. This gives me endless possibilities for shape and depth illusions.
I have great appreciation for all styles and approaches to painting, but I know what is the truth for me, so, "To thine own self be true..." I am an ultra-realist painter. It is hard. It is a lot of work, and I'll never be able to create as much as I'd like. However, I must paint to the best of my ability; to do less would be to do dishonor to the gift I've been given. I must, at the end of the day, be proud of my work. And I am.