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2ARTIST22ArtistJayBellisbestknownforhisinvitingMidwesternlandscapesthatcelebratethebeautyofcultivatedlandagainsttheinnitevariationofnature-drivenskies.Theratiooftheseelementsseemsalwaystofavortheskybyjustafractionaskingtheviewertocontemplatethefamiliarsightoffarmerseldsinthecontextofsomethinglarger.Thesymmetryofcornandbeanrowsplaysovertheseeminglyrandomswellsoflandshapedbymillenniaofglacialadvanceandretreat.Aself-describedrealistJayseemstotaketherelationshipbetweenhispaintingsandtheworldtheyarebasedonseriously.YoumightnoticesaysJaythatthedimensionsofthecanvasareaboutthesameasthoseofacarwindshield.ThatshowtheselandscapesareframedformewhenImdrivingaroundthecountrysidelookingformysubjects.Theyusedtobemuchmoresquare.Jaypaintsfromphotographsanddescribeshispaintingastheexecutionofaplanratherthanaprocessofself-exploration.Therearedifferenttypesofartistsoutthereheexplains.Imveryanalytical.Ihavetheideaandreferencesfortheworkaheadoftime.WhenIgettotheeaselitsamatterofintegratingtheideaandmediumwiththecanvas.Otherartistsapproachthecanvasandideaasanongoingprocess.IstudiedwithDavidBrownanabstractexpressionist.Hestheindividualthattaughtmetothinkaboutpainting.Hetaughtlifedrawingclassesbuthecouldntdrawagureifhetried.Hispaintingsdictatewhatisneededastheyprogress.NeverthelessIlearnedsomuchfromhimabouttheexpressioncontentandideasthatgointoawork.Thatwasinvaluabletome.WhilehehasbeenapaintersincehisundergraduatedaysatSt.CloudStateUniversityinMinnesotaJaystarteddrawingwhenhewasachildlivinginMoorheadMinnesota.IrememberwhenwewereatafriendshouseIwassixorsevenyearsoldandtheygavemeabookwithpicturesofsaddlesinitandIsatthereanddrewsaddlesfromthisbook.Iwasalwaysdrawingsomething.IrememberespeciallyadrawingIdidwhenIwasinthirdgrade.MyfatherwasawayintheKoreanWarandmymotherwentoutonherownandboughta1952Studebaker.Itwasablackfour-doorandIdrewaproleofit.Everyoneseemedreallypleasedwithit.Theartistatworkduringtheearlystagesofoneofhislandscapes