Artist Interview: Mixed Media Artist Greg Jaskot

Heart and Hearth ©2014 Greg Jaskot On Exhibit at JAM Gallery-18″x 24″ Mixed Media (encaustics, oils, spray stencils, gel medium transfers, collaged materials, and found objects) on ply

Greg Jaskot is a mixed media artist who also exhibits at JAM Gallery in Malvern, PA. I met him at one of their exhibition receptions last year. His work uses graffiti stencil techniques and collage with found objects. I was drawn to the graphic quality in his work and you know I love the whole idea of doing something because others told you not to…

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How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I think it was a mixture of naturally growing up wanting to make things and a bunch of art teachers telling me I couldn’t do one thing or another. I remember having a scrap end of a 4×4 and a yellow tack hammer. Whenever my father would work on the house I would drag that piece of wood in the general vicinity and proceed to pound copious amounts of nails into it. I think I was trying to assist him and do my part in the building of a fence or repair of a door frame. I remember taking pride in these achievements as I envied my father as all young boys do in some way. Eventually I grew older and I learned the skills that my father possessed. I still take pride in being able to design my own stretchers and painting surfaces.

Bird Blue ©2014 Greg Jaskot (Sold)- 16″x 30″ Mixed media (oils, collaged materials, spray stencils) on ply

Eventually I ended up in art school ( even though my high school art teacher instructed me not to…) and I began learning new sets of skills. At first I learned each medium as a separate technique and kept them separate. As I grew as an artist I began to feel inhibited by sticking to just one media. I felt that if I could incorporate more techniques and media into my art making and be able to transition from one to another as I went, I would be able to create work that was diverse and capable of encompassing the message that I was grasping for. If I were to make an analogy for this I would say it’s like a musician with the ability to play more than one instrument. I guess I’m still evolving and adding things to my repertoire. I think this is something that keeps me in the studio and ideally it will never stop.

What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Recently I was exhibiting work at JAM gallery and another artist, Bob Hakun, said that my work reminded him of Joseph Cornell. I considered this a tremendous compliment because I admire Bob’s work greatly. I was already aware of Cornell’s work but the thought stuck with me and I began doing more research into his history. I liked the idea of creating cabinet like spaces in the work and drawers. I’m currently working on the first boxed section to be attached to one of my paintings. It actually consumed a huge amount of time this weekend and I’m pleased with the results so far.

Sine ©2014 Greg Jaskot $280- 12"x 24" Mixed Media (encaustics, oils, spray stencils) on ply

Sine ©2014 Greg Jaskot $280- 12″x 24″ Mixed Media (encaustics, oils, spray stencils) on ply

Who are your favorite artists in your field?

In no particular order… Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Rauschenberg, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Piet Mondrian, Squeak Carnwath, and Kathe Kollwitz. I don’t know if any of them are in my field but I always get something when I look at their work.

What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

I have a wooden box that my aunt gave to me. It’s made from several pieces of wood laminated together ( ebony in between two pieces of blond burl wood I think.). It’s beautiful and I keep things of immense value in it. My aunt was very supportive of my artistic development and it reminds me of her.

You can find Greg’s work online at GregJaskot.com and in JAM Gallery’s Spring Eco Arts Exhibition in Malvern, PA through the end of April.

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Flame On! or the Crazy New Sculpture I’m Working On

Hey, I managed to get into the studio this weekend and look what’s taking shape:

The pieces are formed! ©2015 WTEK

The pieces are formed! ©2015 WTEK

I filed the edges, textured the brass, and formed it into shape. I also chopped off part of the nickel grid to make it fit better.

Then I drilled holes in one side and scalloped the inner edge. Next the other side got a taste of that.

Double scallops. This looks kind of like a helmet lying on its side like this... ©2015 WTEK

Double scallops. This looks kind of like a helmet lying on its side like this… ©2015 WTEK

Cool flame or something more eastern... ©2015 WTEK

©2015 WTEK

Side view. Pretty funky, huh? ©2015 WTEK

Side view. Pretty funky, huh? ©2015 WTEK

 

Here’s the original drawing:flame designThen I started working on a base idea. Of course, as soon as I cut into the metal for the base, I thought that something else might work better. We’ll just see how this goes first…

Kind of looks like a slug here. ©2015 WTEK

Base pattern: Kind of looks like a slug here. ©2015 WTEK

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Master of (n)One

I see so many people tossing around words like “masterpiece” and talking about how many hours it takes before you “master” something (I believe 10,000 hours or ten years is the going rate right now.) But what does that really mean?

The term “masterpiece” originally meant the grand work that a journeyman craftsman would create to be judged by masters of his chosen craft. If this work passed muster, then he was deemed a master and that was his master piece. Just because a work is good, or if you like it, or even if it is the best work you’ve ever done (or will do) doesn’t make it a “masterpiece.” Just because you’ve worked in your chosen medium 10,000 hours (or for ten years) doesn’t mean that you are a master.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? Does everyone have to be a master at something?

Took this awesome action shot and then realized I'm wearing the same shirt as my avatar.  I really do own other shirts!

Working toward master level smithing…

While becoming what passes as a master in this day and age is one of my life goals, that doesn’t mean that it should be yours. I’m also not even sure that it is an attainable goal for me. I like the journey to become. I’m a journeyman craftsman. It’s the striving that keeps me going. Plus I’m sometimes drawn to other creative outlets.

You know that old saw “jack of all trades, master of none” right? Well, I like knowing a little something about many different things, but this runs counter intuitive to becoming a master. A master focuses deeply on one particular craft. I think that you can learn new ways of viewing your chosen craft by seeing how other mediums work. It helps you think differently, approach ideas from a new angle. It can also be distracting though.

So are you a master dabbler or expert novice? Or do you focus entirely on one way of working, one medium, one technique until you know all there is to know about it? I think both are valid and my journey lies somewhere in the middle. Where does your journey take you?

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