I’ve been painting for almost fifty years. It seemed like it was easier when I was younger, but that’s only because I was more easily satisfied then. I have mostly mastered the techniques and methods that I now employ although I continue to be surprised by new discoveries of what one can do with paint. Mastery of technique is only a part of the battle. I say battle because painting is a kind of confrontation between the painter and the painting. The painting will do what I ask it to do. The difficulty comes when one is unsure of what to ask. The proper approach for me and the one that most often leads to success is to let the painting tell me what it wants me to do. This requires a kind of silence, an alert but quiet uncluttered mind which is receptive and the opposite of the knowing mind which tries to force the solution. I say solution since making a painting is largely a process or problem which requires making one decision after another. There is no avoiding troubles and difficulties in the process. I don’t mean technical difficulties, although there are those too, of course. I mean the problem of successfully getting through each of the stages of the painting until it’s finished. And that only seems to happen when I (as ego) get out of the way and “listen” to the painting.
As to what motivates me: The mystery of it. The feeling I get while working. The big ups and big downs that occur from start to finish. Of course I don’t enjoy the downs, the seemingly intractable problems that arise and which bring on feelings of great doubt and inadequacy. But, overcoming the difficulties and coming to that final decision which pulls it all together and comes from who knows where, is what gets me to go through it all again and start the next painting.
Jackson Gregory was born in 1938 and grew in up in an artistic environment in Provincetown, MA. His father was a printmaker and photographer. His mother was an accomplished pianist and piano teacher. After high school he went to study art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (SMFA) where he spent almost ten years as a student, graduate student and teacher. After two years of teaching, he left to concentrate on his own work. This was the beginning of his use of geometric forms and geometric abstraction.
He added ceramic tile as a medium in 1977 and in addition to tile installations for homes and businesses in the Boston area and other parts of the country, Gregory has also created public art murals in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, MA and in Buffalo, NY. Gregory lives and works now on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. He and his wife, the artist Joan Wye moved there in 1990 from the Boston area. Joan died in 2006.
47th Bartlett Traveling Fellowship, SMFA, (’64)
Grant and Fellowship Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown MA (’68 – ’70)
Boskop Foundation Grant ( ’71)
Mass. Council for the Arts and Humanities, (’81)
Somerville, MA Arts Council, (’83)
Exhibitions at galleries, universities and museums include:
Cornell University, NY (’65)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (’67,’68)
Provincetown Art Association, (’53,’71,’72,’73)
Provincetown Group Gallery, (’67-’71)
Boston Cyclorama (’71)
DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA (’74)
City Hall, Boston (’74)
Brockton Art Center, MA (’75)
Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown (’75, ’76)
Rougette Gallery, Rockland,ME (’08)
New Era Gallery, Vinalhaven, ME (’07-’16)
Harbor Square Gallery, Rockland, ME (’15)