Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. 22ju15, 2015
Originally, when I first approached the artist Jeffrey Earp, I asked him, as I usually do with all the artists I want to feature, for a number of images of his work, along with an artist statement. I got the images, but without a full artist statement. What Jeffrey did give me was the following:
“To get an idea of my output and the artwork that interests me most, have a look at abstrakshun.tumblr.com. Any conclusion you draw, reach, or jump to, is fine by me.”
That threw me I must admit. As a writer on the contemporary creative arts, artist statements are both my guide, and in some ways, my security blanket. Yes, I draw my own conclusions regarding an artist’s creative direction, largely from their work, but it is nice to have that statement there as a little extra security.
Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. 22a15, 2015
Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. Shore, 2015
However, one of the great features of life, at least for me, is to be regularly pulled up short, to question my assumptions. For someone to just ask why, and for me to be stumped for an immediate answer, as in the case with Jeffrey, is a timely marker on your own path, telling you point blank, not to assume, not to believe in the inevitable, go look for some truth.
So here we are featuring the work of the abstract artist Jeffrey Earle. Jeffrey works with an astoundingly eclectic mix of raw materials. He brings together sugar, salt, berry pulp, charcoal, waste cardboard, oven paper, found images, even a PowerPoint slide.
However, it isn’t the materials that matter so much, not even their eclectic diversity which is fascinating in its own right, but it is what you do with them that ultimately matters. How you bring them together, form a balance and harmony, and then how that in turn is presented as a completed composition.
Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. 14n15, 2015
Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. Skein, 2015
To Jeffrey, his artwork follows a slightly different path. To him it is very much the process that is at the heart of his creativity, rather than the finished piece, as he says himself, by concentrating on the process rather than completed composition, he is concentrating on the “more liquid, than solid” aspects of his work.
With his completed work being online digital in nature, rather than physical, this feeling of liquid over solid, is continued throughout the process, from start to finish. It lends an element of freedom, of being able to explore more possibilities than would be found on a strictly physical path. Even though physical elements are included within his work, they are not an end in themselves, but a part of the process.
There is definitely a feeling of fluidity in Jeffrey’s work, as if the flow of process has been allowed to explore itself in its own right, and Jeffrey himself says that despite trying to steer the process of work in a specific direction or channel, avoiding the eddies and spills that surround that channel, very often it is those eddies and spills that end up being the more persistent draw, and end up being followed by the artist.
Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. 06ju15, 2015
Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. Breakwater (Chiavari), 2015
All in all Jeffrey has produced, and continues to produce, a fascinating personal exploration of creative work. It is his pathway, his exploration, and therefore all are by definition his personal discoveries. They are an ongoing journey which he is happy to share with whoever wishes to view, that they also draw their own conclusions to the work he has to offer is part of his persona as artist, hence the lack of artist statement.
By the way, Jeffrey relented in the end and gave me a lengthy paragraph statement, I think perhaps he felt sorry for me.
More of Jeffery's work, as well as other artists that he finds intriguing, and that he admires, can be found at his tumblr site, abstrakshun. Please be aware that all of the images for this article were kindly supplied by the artist and should not be used without the permission of that artist. Thanks.
Illustration: Jeffrey Earp. Installation of Pain, 2015