Jeff Epstein: Night and Day

calendar icon July 1, 2021 - July 31, 2021

The Blue Hill Public Library will host an exhibit of oil paintings, Night and Day, by naturalist painter and seasonal Mainer Jeff Epstein during the month of July. This exhibition will be curated by Jennifer Mitchell-Nevin. Jeff Epstein’s images pivot between night scenes and sunlit subjects painted within his immediate surroundings, each work distinguished by his particular strokes of shade and light. The nocturnal scenes charged with fireworks are a dramatic contrast to his scenes of nature, saturated in brilliant greens and yellows.

Describing himself as a “suburban painter,” Epstein says, “My paintings explore where the natural and manmade landscapes overlap, often at night. Although the spaces are unpeopled and speak of solitude, there is usually evidence of human activity.  A bird feeder is a friendly incursion into the natural landscape, while tire marks on pavement suggest less gentle intentions. But each is a record of someone’s interaction with the world.”

Utility poles and signposts stand in contrast to the surrounding vegetation as they echo the verticals of neighboring trees. Wires and garden hoses connect buildings with the landscape and provide strong, linear elements. Similarly, “burnouts” made by the noisy, rapid acceleration of vehicles, become what a friend calls “rural graffiti,” calligraphic lines left on country roads.

He continues, “Documenting the effects of light and weather is another important aspect of my work. The shadow of a snowbank on a dazzling winter afternoon, or wood smoke rising on a bitterly cold day, depend on those changing conditions to give them shape and form.

The intersection of the natural and constructed worlds is a space where moments of natural beauty are interrupted by human intrusions, where disruption and harmony coexist, sometimes uneasily. It’s that balance that I want to describe.”

Jeff Epstein earned an MFA in Painting from Brooklyn College where he studied with Lennart Anderson, Lois Dodd and John Walker. He received a BA in Studio Art from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA.  He is currently teaching art at Suffolk Community College on Long Island. Originally from New Jersey, Epstein divides his time between Cushing, ME and Brooklyn, NY.