Jeff Pittman lives around the mountains of Western North Carolina and really enjoys the 4 distinct seasons. He loves to get his inspiration from the mountains
First, where are you from and why do you enjoy the most about this place?
I live in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville. The landscape here is what inspired me to start painting.
We have 4 distinct seasons with a changing palette of colors to offer. So, I never seem to run out of scenes to paint!
Where are you the most inspired to paint? What inspires you the most to paint?
I'm inspired by the area, the mountain views, especially reaching a clearing or summit after a nice long hike with my family.
What is the story behind your subjects? What do you prefer to paint?
I love to paint landscapes, but I also enjoy painting cities and downtown scenes, especially in the early morning or late afternoon sun.
We spend some time on the coast as well and I love that area where you can admire Shrimp boats and beach sunsets.
When did you discover your talent? And was it because of a person, an event, a specific situation?
My dad was a well-known artist in eastern NC. I grew up watching him paint, I was always around art.
I didn’t pick up a paintbrush until I moved to the mountains though.
My paintings evolved and I joined some other artists in a co-op art studio in Downtown Asheville, my career gets from there.
Can you tell us about your favorite setup to paint? (morning coffee, late evening jazz…)
When I first started out painting, the kids were little, I used to paint in the garage at my home.
I’d get started very early in the morning with some tunes and coffee. Otherwise, I work on something late at night while the family was asleep.
During the day, I go to the art studio downtown around 11.00 and set up to paint.
I don’t go in every day, so when I do, I try to get a lot done on a piece while I’m there. I at least cover the canvas entirely with paint. It maybe not finished but I get a good start so I can touch up later.
Do you have a fellow partner (a dog, a cat,…) when painting or do you prefer being alone?
My studio is open to the public, so while I may be there painting alone (or with my basset hound Doris), people trickle through the doors all day long to see some local art.
I do have studio mates, so sometimes, there are a few of us there working at the same time.
Can you explain how different is your painting technique from the acrylic paint used with paint by numbers?
Probably the biggest difference would be the slow drying time of my oils as compared to acrylic.
I do a lot of blending and mixing of paint right on the canvas, then I attempt to complete a painting before any of it dries, "alla prima”. So not layering but more of a wet into wet approach.
This method helps me get the interesting effects in the misty mountains and skies of some of my paintings.
Do you have a piece of advice to share with a beginner regarding… a technique, an angle, an equipment?
I would recommend to someone just starting out to visit lots of galleries to see works in person, and if possible, visit working artists studios to see works being created and don't hesitate to ask questions.
Lots of artists have very different methods of getting their results and you can usually pick up a tip or trick by watching another artist create their work.