SEPTEMBER 2017 Art Exhibit
Theatre Gallery: Cathy Coe
Crescendo Gallery: Ella Cleaveland and Mercer Jackson
Mercer Jackson’s Artist Statement I guess I have always been interested in art. I remember when a classmate and I painted a mural on the back wall of our fourth grade classroom. And, in high school, I was intrigued by a Norman Rockwell painting on the Saturday Evening Post which featured a sad black Cocker Spaniel. I bought three tiny tubes of oil paint, black, red and white, and one brush, and painted the dog on a piece of redwood left over from some remodeling.
But I was distracted by raising five children, moving frequently, and then; going back to school to get my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees when the youngest was in first grade.
I finally discovered the art world when I attended an art class at Fort Mason in San Francisco. I still remember the teacher, Irene Halpern, who was an inspiration. I eventually moved to Petaluma, and had another wonderful teacher, Wanda Robin, who taught classes at the Petaluma Senior Center.
I started doing animal portraits (after years of abstracts and then still lives) when a neighbor asked me to paint a picture of their cat, Felix. That was the start of my love of animal portraits. I did many paintings of my friends’ dogs and cats. I always said that my pleasure in the doing of the painting and their pleasure in receiving it was all the reward I wanted.
So I have continued through the last years, with my love of painting animals. Sometimes they were ‘real’ animals who belonged to friends. Other times, I went to the computer to find images of animals that appealed to me. I continue to paint animals, although my sight is failing, because it is such an engrossing and satisfying use of my time. Mercer Jackson