Evocative and picturesque landscapes have impassioned award-winning Plein Air painter, Jerry W. Pond for over forty years. Born and raised in Ottawa Canada, he made his way to Chicago and studied at the prestigious American Academy of Art, and has also taught etching at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts in that same great “Windy City”.
Shortly after moving to Cottonwood, Arizona and attending a workshop with nationally acclaimed artist William Scott Jennings some nine years ago, he has found a stirring magnificence in the multi-hued, wide-open Sedona area mountain vistas, providing further impetus for his quest to take hold of and skillfully render in oil, that which nature so abundantly provides. Having worked in various mediums over the years, he prefers oil paints due to their pigment-building and drying properties in addition to their traditional appeal.
When asked what drives him day after day, he will tell you that it is the pursuit of capturing an ever-changing play on light… “Working from nature provides such inspiration, there is no comparison. The light is so short-lived, and trying to capture a moment in time with moving shadows is the ultimate challenge within the narrow two-hour time frame I typically allow for a painting”. This relentless year-round pursuit knows no bounds. Often not knowing where he is headed when he goes out to paint, he is always searching for just the right scene, and may return to exactly the same spot during a different time of the year to capture yet a different perspective due to the changing seasons.
Jerry is a member of both OPA (Oil Painters of America) and APAP (Arizona Plein Air Painter’s Society), and is currently represented by the Sedona Art Center, and Xanadu Gallery (www.xanadugallery.com/Art/ArtistGallery.asp?ArtistID=3219)
BEST OIL – 2005 in the 25th Annual Members Show at the Sedona Art Center in Sedona, AZ
2nd PLACE – 2006 in the 26th Annual Members Show at the Sedona Art Center in Sedona, AZ
EIGHT STATE PARK AWARDS – Five in 2007, Two in 2008, and One in 2009
From the artist’s daughter…
My father has an innate drive that I cannot comprehend; I so wish that I could bottle and gift it to everyone! From an early age, I remember singing songs with my mom at the train station night after night, as we waited for him to return home from the American Academy of Art. As a young girl, I remember being wildly fascinated as I rummaged through his art school projects and canvasses in the basement—a complex color wheel comes quickly to mind, studies in the figure, a pencil sketch of wild-haired Thor Hyerdahl on his raft The Kon Tiki, a brilliant scratch-ink drawing of an Alaskan sled dog, and a colorful little painting of “Gus Klenke’s Garage”; these are all distant but fond memories. I grew up with the scent of turpentine wafting about his studio, with jelly jars full of splotched paintbrushes in various sizes covering every available surface. Stacks upon stacks of art books, magazines, and National Geographic provided countless hours of entertainment.
Some years ago, my dad came to visit with his paintbox in tow, and we headed to the Hermitage Museum here in Norfolk, Virginia. My father set up his easel that day and began to adorn his palette with the familiar gnarled tubes of oil paint, while my mother and I took the tour inside and a stroll of the grounds. Hours later, upon our return to that resplendent sunlit piazza, I found that my father had created a masterpiece, capturing the very elements which fascinate me to this day. It was spring—that oh-to-fleeting time of growth and renewal, when the lavender wisteria is in its fullest bloom, cascading like little clusters of silken grapes over the brick archway and wrought iron gate to the courtyard. Glimmers of reflected light from the river dance on leaded-glass window panes…
I could not offer enough praise to my father, which he received most humbly (oh, how I longed to have that painting, but dare not speak it, lest I surely suffer tremendous disappointment). True to form, he carefully packed up that painting that afternoon, and returned home to Chicago… Some six months later, for my birthday, a surprise package arrived from home. I cannot remember how long those tears flowed, nor how long my chin quivered with joy and disbelief, but I can remember how I felt truly loved at that moment—it was my painting of the Hermitage! I had never even dreamed of asking for it, for it is beyond lovely—it is magnificent.
The painting is my treasure; it is the dearest thing I own, and I shall never part with it, for any sum of money. It is a verdant and poignant respite to me, a gift of sweetness—a day forever held still, richly emblazoned in the brilliant colors that only spring can muster, by God’s majesty, and my father’s skillful hand.
These two versions of the Hermitage (a Westerly View, above and an Easterly View, below) are now available in limited edition giclee.