Rory Jackson exhibits ‘A Valid Attempt’

Rory Jackson comes from a lineage of talented artists and painters — yet has a style all his own.
At his Bristol studio, music wafts into the hallway as the smell of oil paint greets you at the door. Large windows welcome light onto the canvases as he paints. His inspirations are ignited by travel, value of family and his observation of light in the landscape in his two homes in Lincoln and Cape Three Points, Ghana.
Jackson also draws inspiration from Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla, his mentor Max Ginsburg, as well as music. Tunes are a must in Jackson’s studio — music makes him feel at home; the soundscape sets his frame of mind. What kind of music? His favorites include roots reggae artists Vaughn Benjamin, Dezarie and Akae Beka, and music by Malian artists Sona Jobarteh and Fatoumata Diawara.
When it’s warm enough, Jackson says he starts his day with four hours of painting and then has a swim in the river. Swimming hits the reset button and helps the creative juices flow again. He returns to his studio and paints until early evening, takes another swim in the river on the way home; then dinner and time with his kids.
Jackson hopes to expand his work to involve more youth.
“DEERLEAP EVENING,” A painting by Rory Jackson
“I would love to collaborate with kids — rough out a composition on a large canvas or mural and have them join in with a sense of raw application of paint, true beauty,” he said. “I could envision future projects on a Native American reservation, or in the inner city of the Bronx. In general, I would be interested in painting with others — getting them to feel, rather than to think.”
Jackson also plans to work on larger plein air paintings in Ghana. “I want to push myself outside the habitual scene and observe nature and life more intensely,” Jackson explained.
His current work, now on exhibit at Edgewater Gallery on the Green in Middlebury through October, is an effort to capture the Earth’s beauty.
“We cannot capture the beauty that exists, so all paintings are failures to replicate the natural magic of this earth, but in that failure there is a beauty in the attempt,” he said.
Hence the series title “A Valid Attempt. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 12, from 5-7 p.m.
Kelly Holt interviewed Rory Jackson this summer for Edgewater Gallery.

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