By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Even in his youth, Jeff Legg was drawn to an Old World style of art apprenticeship, absorbing all he could on a one-to-one basis from an artist mentor—in his case, art professor Darrell Dishman in Legg’s home state of Missouri. The young painter later went on to complete demanding classical drawing and painting studies in an atelier setting. His discipline and dedication paid off. Today Legg is known for compelling still life paintings that infuse a contemporary visual sensibility and sense of color with an Old Masters feeling of chiaroscuro shadows and depth. His work has gained a wide following in recent years.
Has your style or approach to your art changed since you first appeared in Southwest Art? There is more invention in my work, more of “me.” I now go beyond merely copying what I see visually and attempt to create something from my heart and soul.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far? Being honored with master signature status with the Oil Painters of America and approaching my 20th year as a full-time artist.
Would you have done anything differently? I would have started submitting work to national shows and attending those shows earlier in my career.
What advice do you give to artists just starting out in their careers? Concentrate on doing your best work every time you paint. Study the masters and be yourself.
What motto do you live by? In life and in art: Quality, not quantity. Follow your heart and be you.
What artists have influenced you? A few of them would be: Rembrandt and the other Flemish still-life painters, my mentor Darrell Dishman, Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, both N.C. and Andrew Wyeth, John Waterhouse, and Emil Carlsen. Living artists would be Odd Nerdrum and David Leffel.
What are you working on now? Commissions and providing galleries with new work. I’m teaching a few workshops around the country and will have a new instructional video soon to be released by Liliedahl Video Productions.
What’s your next big goal? Doing something different … really different.
omething that has significance on other levels besides aesthetics.
Astoria Fine Art, Jackson, WY; Whistle Pik Galleries, Fredericksburg, TX; Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; American Legacy Gallery, Kansas City, MO; Morris & Whiteside Galleries, Hilton Head, SC; www.jefflegg.com.
Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional
xhibition, Corse Gallery & Atelier, Jacksonville, FL, November 20-December 23.
Holiday Miniature Show, Whistle Pik Galleries, November 23-December 31.
Holiday Small Works Show, Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, December 3-31.
Annual Miniature Show, Germanton Art
allery, Germanton, NC, December 4-January 1, 2010.
American Miniatures Show, Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ, February 13, 2010.
Group show, Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, March 4-18, 2010.
First appearance in Southwest Art: Portfolio, May 1998
Awards won since then: From Oil Painters of America: master signature status, several awards of merit, best signature award, and best master signature award; at Salon International: best still life, award of merit, Southwest Art award, and top 50; from Plein Air Artists Colorado: best of show and master signature status; among others.
Show participation since then: Settlers West Galleries’ annual miniature show, the C.M. Russell Auction, and the Miniatures by the Lake show at Coeur D’Alene Galleries.
Price change since then: My top paintings sell for up to $35,000 for a 24-by-24. Five years ago I got about $15,000 to $20,000 for the same size.
Featured in “Success Stories” in December 2009