I always hated cleaning brushes.
When I moved to Denver in the early 1980s, I had a series of studios with no running water. Cleaning my brushes was a pain. I started to explore working with different mark-makers and palette knives, small at first and then slowly scaling up. As the paintings got bigger, the marks had to grow as well to keep the right size ratio to the painting surface. Eventually, I came to work with large concrete tools and long metal scrapers.
Now I am back to using brushes, painting on birch panels instead of linen, and standing the paintings up instead of flat, as before. Most noticeably, I am drawing with the brush and now bringing in abstract forms and bright, saturated color in brilliant pinks, purples, orange and green.
I was born in Brockton, MA, and grew up alternately in Boston and Woods Hole, on Cape Cod. I graduated from St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, and went on to attend Cal Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute. I have been living and working in Colorado since 1981.
Let’s just make some good, honest, awkward, paintings.
A working artist for over forty years, Jeffrey has a deep knowledge of what it takes to create art and the benefits of practicing his craft over time. As a practical businessperson, he is also a maker and producer who knows that creativity is not the purview of artists alone. As a curator, he brings people and ideas together through art.
An educator and consultant, Jeffrey has particular expertise in practical color usage, color theory and the history of color in culture. For over twenty-five years, he has developed curricula and taught Creativity and Foundations at the University of Denver School of Art & Art History, where he was named the 2001 Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year. He has created and curated original exhibitions Learning to See Color, The Wall/La Pared: Immigration and Identity, and most recently, Storm Warning/Artists on Climate Change and the Environment.
Jeffrey studied at Cal Arts, The San Francisco Art Institute and The Zhejiang Academy of Fine Art, Hangzhou, China. Although Keith liked Cal Arts, he found a lack of support for figurative painting (his focus at the time), so he relocated to the San Francisco Art Institute from 1973-74 to be amid the Bay Area Figurative School. Though certainly influenced by the paint-pushers of the New York Abstract Expressionist school, Keith was more strongly drawn to the figurative of California paints like Richard Diebenkorn and the Bay Area “Bad Painters” such as David Park, Joan Brown, and Bruce McGaw, whom he studied under at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Keith’s work is represented in many public, private and museum collections around the country and abroad. He spent much of his early years on Cape Cod and in California before moving to Denver, Colorado, in 1981.