1AM: The phrase “Liquid Hymn” implies almost a religious or spiritual relationship with nature. Is that how you view your relationship with the natural world?
Jeff Weis: A hymn is a song of joy or praise usually used in a religious context, but I meant it more as an analogy. My working process is like a song of joy and it’s sung for nature instead of religion. Implied in the word hymn is that you are reaching out to an idea that can’t respond directly to you.
1AM: In an ideal world, how would you envision mankind’s relationship to nature? What attitudes would you like to change?
JW: In an ideal world consumerism wouldn’t dominate our lives. Taking energy away from something else is at the heart of consumption, which is necessary, but consumerism encourages overconsumption. Essentially, we take more than we need.
1AM: How do you go about designing a piece? Do you see as a composition in your mind or does it come into fruition on the paper instinctively?
JW: The composition is definitely not planned out because it’s not as interesting for me. The majority of the pieces have splattered ink. The way ink behaves when it pools and bleeds has an unpredictable quality to it that I’ve always liked. It looks like a dance between matter and energy, which I try to sustain through the final composition.
1AM: Describe your process. What do you do to get inspired?
JW: I hike, camp, and backpack. BBC has some really awesome natures documentaries like Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Life in the Undergrowth. Right now I’m watching How the Universe Works for the fifth time.
1AM: In your statement about Liquid Hymn, you say you “like knowing that there are still mysteries secreted away in earth’s crevices” and that you “hope that we will always have wild places where the world is left to sing its own song.” If you could magically transport yourself anywhere on Earth to see one of these wild, untouched places, what would you want to see?
JW:I’m very curious about the deep sea. So little is known and it’s so unreachable that going there is like landing on the moon. It shows how strange & tenacious life can be.
1AM: How has your past work influenced your new work?
JW: The paper texture and white space are new to my work. The board that I work on is great for smooth washes, but it lacks any tooth and so there wasn’t much physical texture, which bothered me. I also felt compelled to paint to the edges, but as soon as I let that go I realized the edges of where I painted could be dynamic.
1AM: Where do you see yourself going next? What’s in the future for you?
JW: I think bigger, on canvas, and more heavily textured. I have a piece started that has strips of canvas piled on top of each other to create mountains and valleys that are dotted with shapes of varnished paper textures. It looks like an aerial view of an alien landscape.
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