Juniper Oil by Jeff Peters, courtesy of Laguna Art Museum
I'm excited to introduce you to Jeff Peters, whose work I first saw at Laguna Art Museum. He was kind enough to let me drop in on his studio in Laguna Canyon, and even though a lot of paintings were on their way out to shows, etc. there was plenty of work-in-progress happening.
Inspiration is a tricky thing, I try to process inspiration as soon as it occurs so I can remove it from the equation, I have had no luck going into a painting inspired. If I have an idea I try to use it for a story or an illustration, painting is just something I have to do, I try to do that with no audience in mind, with no one to please, when I am painting I am mostly thinking about the small details of my life, like my knee is hurting, or I have to find a proper guitar chord, or my girlfriend is an hour late, the details. Painting takes time and inspiration comes and goes, I have ideas, but I hope to leave them behind in a painting so that I may discover something new.
I was raised in a tract home with many throw pillows. There were pristine rooms filled with valueless tchotchkes that could not be entered without a vacuum to erase your footprints, books whose literary value was placed on how effectively the cover matched the wallpaper, towels that were only for décor, bedspreads that were to be pulled down before sitting on the beds they covered, it was as luxurious as cultural deprivation could possibly be. It was no fault of my parents though, they suffered from this plague as well, as did everyone on our block, city and maybe even state. We wanted Neil Young but got Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow; we needed Patti Smith but got Barbara Streisand and Crystal Gayle; we could have used Kurt Vonnegut but relied on a secret stash of Penthouse Forum’s in the adults bathroom.
Growing up in this environment made me suspicious, suspicious of beauty, of value and of desire. Of course I was extremely grateful of family and of the love but as a young man seeking an aesthetic preference I was suspect of the objects that defined value not only in my home but my surrounding culture.
This has been the overall theme of most all work I make now, reconciling my most immediate surroundings, trying to comprehend beauty and fear, frustration and desire, I am looking most at nature and how that represent so many things, I am after turning a backyard fruit tree into an overworked, overproducing glitzy starlet, with perfect supple fruit that should be on the cover of a cosmetic package, even the beauty is suspect.
Which brings me to today's giveaway. The Laguna Art Museum has generously offered a pair of tickets (worth $300) to a lucky Trust Your Style reader! Just leave a comment below about why you'd like to attend and you'll be entered to win.
Taking inspiration from the stylish 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair, Laguna Museum's Art Auction 2014: The Art of the Heist will feature glamorous 1960s-inspired décor and the chance to “heist” original works of art by over 100 of California’s most sought after artists. The works will be sold during an exciting silent auction as well as a fast-paced live auction. There will also be a sampling of exquisite cuisine from local noteworthy restaurants, cocktails and live entertainment.