WWW.JACKBALAS.COM
HOME

PAINTING & DRAWING
PHOTO

ARCHIVE: OTHER WORK
RESUME TOUR & STATEMENT PUBLICATIONS & CONTACT

JACKROAD
Artist Blog

 

 

 xxxx

Current Paintings: 2015-2019
SEEKING QUESTIONS TO LIFE'S BIG ANSWERS

When I painted landscape imagery and the constructed environment years ago, I liked to talk about formal concerns: painting as map or diary or arena linking visual and verbal, conceptual and material, fact and fiction, abstraction and representation; not to mention a blend of styles and a viewer building bridges between disparate ideas. While all this remains true, with the paintings today I would say that, given how many images we are all bombarded with every day via the media, I am simply interested in making memorable ones.

The figure has taken center stage since the early 2000's, and there are perhaps four different levels on which one can consider the work: 1) on the beauty level, by which I mean the combination of painting media (watercolor, oil, ink) and styles (abstraction, representation) in a complementary tension that augments the imagery involved; 2) on a political level, in that my goal with the guys who dominate the images and constitute my muse is to populate an art world with them-- an art world where the female image, nude or otherwise, is about as normal as a burger and fries, while the male image continues to be considered, by some, suspect, and is thus in short supply; 3) on the textual level, presenting titles that can be read in varying ways and short stories that are written before or after the images come along, but in any case are springboards for the reader's imagination; and 4) on the transcendent level, an attempt to depict a thoughtful, if not vulnerable, Everyman, reaching beyond the fleeting surface idealization associated with youth and hopefully going far in terms of metaphor, poking around such timeless ideas as: truth, beauty, faith, time, the infinite, what we learn and what we know.

It may seem questionable indeed these days to even concern myself with such unanswerables, but in an era when political and spiritual leaders assert that they in fact have the answers for us all, I think that art has the capacity to imagine otherwise, to offer some transcendent spark to bridge the gap between intent and form, between idea and the evidence of our lives. Muse indeed.

Note: At times my focus is on paper works in series, for instance the MUSE/MUSEUM watercolors and TATTOO DETOUR drawings from Honolulu. Therefore, select images from these series have been incorporated onto this page along with the "usual" canvases. More images from these series can be found on their dedicated pages.  


LA LUCHA (THE FIGHT)

WHAT I PAINT AND WHY I PAINT IT 


THE ARCTIC-PACIFIC DIVIDE

 



SERIES: MUSE / MUSEUM
ALL YEARS

  

DO THE MATH

 

ROWING, NOT DRIFTING (2)

 

SHIP OF COOLS

  

THE DRAWING ROOM


EL TEMOR (THE FEAR)

CROSSING BY MOONLIGHT

BACK OF THE YARDS
(SANDBURG'S BOY)

REACH 1 (PIER)

THE SALMON LADDER



 

REACH 4 (SEAGULL)

ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY

THE TRUE CROSS (Study)

 


HIGHROAD

Permanent Collection
University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor

 

LANDING


IOWA: THE AFFECTIONS OF HER PEOPLE,
LIKE THE RIVERS OF HER BORDERS,
FLOW TO AN INSEPARABLE UNION

Permanent Collection
University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art

  

COUNTERACT

 

O CANADA

 

JOKE

 

TOMORROW AGAIN

AHA

 

LIST 1 (BOOK OF THE MONTH)

  

REACH 7 (PENPALS)


MAN IN MOON, MOON IN MAN
(VAULT)

SUSURRO (WHISPER)

REACH 5 (BEER)


KEEP
(TO BE PROMISCUOUS IN THOUGHT)

REACH 3 (BOOK)

FIRST DRAFT


 

LATEST NEWS
(IF WORDS COULD TALK)

REACH 6 (SLEEP)

WHAT ARE THEY REALLY SAYING?

 

FATHOM

 

COAT

REACH 2 (PALLET)

FOREVER

WRING

 

GRANT WOOD SEZ TO WORLD: COME OUT FIGHTING

TWAIN

LEDGER (DAY ONE)

THE WALL , NOGALES
(LA PARED)

 

THE OBERDICK HOUSE

 

ALL KINDS OF THEORY

 

REUNION


UNTITLED (BEAR)


BACK THERE


 

 

CHECKERED PASSED (TIED)





I CAN THE AL-CAN

SEVEN SEAS

 

RAINBOW

LIGHTS OUT

 

FORT HONOLULU 1




RETURN_AL

  

FORT HONOLULU 2

SWITCHBACK

FORT HONOLULU 4 (Bull)

 

POET'S HOLIDAY

 
 

THE BIG HORIZON

  

FORT HONOLULU 3

 

ON THE TABLE

OPEN SEASON


 

THE BOY FROM MOOSE JAW
ARRIVES AT WAIKIKI

 

CHASM

 

 

THE BOXER SONATA
(A Choreographic Proposal)

LAKE EFFECT

  

EL RIO

 

HIGH PLANES PLAINS

 

THE FROST RAILING (Study)

CASCADE (PENMANSHIP)

THIS MUST BE AMERICA


  

MI TIERRA
(Self Portrait as Jared)

 

D-ICE
(DOUBLE SELF-PORTRAIT)

FLOOR TO CEILING

OUR TATTOO

 

THE LANDSCAPE AS FEMALE

 

DO YOUR BEST

 

YOU MAY BEGIN YOUR
ANSWERS HERE

 

ONE IF BY LAND, TWO
IF BY SEA (SAFE)

 

HOMECOMING


INTERMISSION
(THE LOST WAX AND FOUND)


EDITOR'S LETT_R

 

L--IF--E

TRANSFER


JOIN

THUS DID WE BUILD OUR SUMMER

 

MOM

Collection, 21C Museum, Louisville, KY

  

AND HERE WE ARE

 

THE BIGGER PICTURE
A.K.A. THE RIVER

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR
THOUSAND WORDS

POOL  (HONOLULU)

 

TEST

 

CHRISTINA'S WORLD
(THE DAY I MET ANDREW WYETH)

 

SHORE

 

THE GOOD FIGHT (2)

KIRK (THIS ONE)

 

SLAPSHOT (EVERY SUNSET)

 

WE'VE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME

 

PORTAGE

CENTRAL PARK STUDY

 

PAUL BUNYAN:
BESTING THE MYTH



UNTITLED #1526 (in progress)

 

OUT ON A LIMB


 

REARVIEW

NESSUN DORMA

EL MUNDO PEQUENO
Sold

 

 

re:COVER

CARRY

 

THE PASSING OF THE WEST


AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT
(MONDAY)

ANCHORAGE

 

BOB HOWE WANTED TO PAINT STORIES
(FOR ROBERT CHARLES HOWE, 1954-2002)

 

 

YOUNG BLADES ATOP MT. MARSDEN
(FOR MARSDEN HARTLEY)

Collection, Bates College Museum of Art
Lewiston, Maine

WATERMARK 


  

ADDING TWELVE FEET
TO KATAHDIN (Study)

Collection, Bates College Museum of Art
Lewiston, Maine


THE VETERAN IN A NEW FIELD

TREEHOUSE

 

SAFETY GLASS

THE GREATER MOOSE


 

MI CASA ES SU CASA
(Study)



AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT
(WEDNESDAY) (DEER)

Sold

DEUS EX MACHINA

EPIPHANY 2

THE STORY OF FIREWOOD

 

DEPTH

 

AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT
(TUESDAY)

WELCOME HOME

  

MILE SWIM

  

MASTERPIECE


 

SUMMER READING (study) 

Permanent Collection
University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art

SEND (REPLY)

 

KEEPER

CIRCUMSTANCE

 

EL MUNDO NUEVO

Permanent Collection, Denver Art Museum
Denver, Colorado

THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER

 

NO ONE SHALL PLAY
ON WET FIELDS

TOWARDS DUSK IN THE RINCONS
xxx

 


 

FRONTISPIECE
(CARVE YOUR INTITIALS...)

Collection, Bates College Museum of Art
Lewiston, Maine

WE PAUSE FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY

SIGN

 

WE LAUNCH OUR SHIPS

THE NOTION OF THE ARTIST

COWBOYS ROPING A LIEUTENANT

 

 

TWO LIGHTS, CAPE ELIZABETH
(study)

 

 

EVERY LEAF ON THE TREE

 

 

THE FARMHAND, OR, GRANT WOOD'S
RE-ENTRY INTO IOWA, TRIUMPHANT

Sold

 

 

 

AS IF IT WERE PLANNED


STANDING OVATION


SUBTITLE

 


 

OUR TOWN
(THE OLD COLONIAL)

 

HURRY HOME

 

 

LINGER

 

 

SLIPCASE 

 

THIS WONDERFUL WORLD AWAITS

PLEASE INFORM SENDER

HOLD

EARLY SUNDAY MORNING (CATCH)

 

A E I O U



NEW YEAR'S DAY (KINDRED SPIRITS)
(THANK YOU)

MINE

 

ITCH

WE HAVE ALL WAXED AND WANED

FROM MUSE/ MUSEUM 2015

  

ALWAYS

FACE IT, MADAM DIRECTOR

SCENIC ROUTE

 

FROM MUSE/ MUSEUM 2015


HIGH ROAD
(Study)

YOUR FULL PAGE

BLUE PRINT 

FROM MUSE/ MUSEUM 2015

EPIPHANY

KNOCK ON WOULD

CROWN

FROM MUSE/ MUSEUM 2015

THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL

BACK ROAD

MARINE STUDY

 

 SERIES 

TO THE MUSE MUSEUM SERIES

x

COMPANION PIECE

THE WAY HOME

HARBOR

RECOUNT

ZEITGEIST

THIS IS HOW WE BREATHE

FLAGSHIP

THE MAINE EVENT

THIS TIME AROUND

 

CAGE FIGHTER

   

ARMADA

ARTIST'S CHOICE

THAT BOOK, LATE AT NIGHT

THE HAPPY ENDING

FRONT ROW

FOUNTAIN

DIPLOMA

 

CHERRY BOMB

Permanent Collection
University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
sold

WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT

  

RESERVOIR

AUTOGRAPH

HITCH

BIG DIPPER

PEARL

 


 

THE AUDITION

Permanent Collection
University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor

 

THIS IS AMERICA


MARK YOUR CALENDAR

X

OPEN FOR CONVENIENCES

THIS IS HOW IT STARTS

 

CROSSING THE EQUATOR

 

FROM TATTOO DETOUR 9
DENNIS THE MENACE IN HONOLULU

DUST JACKET


NEST

sold

GIFT BOX


FROM TATTOO DETOUR 9
DENNIS THE MENACE IN HONOLULU

A TRAILER SOMEWHERE

SERIES

TATTOO DETOUR 9
DENNIS THE MENACE IN HONOLULU
2015




EARLIER
PAINTINGS

> > >

 


PAINTINGS 2013-2014

xx

 

PAINTINGS 2011-2012

 

TO
MAIN
PAINTING & DRAWING
MENU:

BB