Artist of the Week 68 | Jeff Faust

Jeff Faust

Rowboats floating in the sky, drifting leaves, puffy clouds, collections of objects (sometimes including clouds) casting shadows in wall niches, and the mysteriousness of shiny spheres recur in Jeff Faust’s work, which he labels “subtle surrealism.”

“I paint things that I want to see happen but can’t in real life. I find gentle twists on reality comforting,” he says. “I have been painting since I was in grade school. My work was big, bold, and graphic sometimes. But at an early age, this [subtle surrealism] approach appeared. I was searching. I never had anyone tell me how to paint, which is the way I wanted it.”

Jeff Faust | Through the Quiet Trees | Acrylic | 48 x 36″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

Though he typically begins a painting with an idea, 90 percent of the time, he doesn’t know what it will look like when it is finished. “There is a lot of changing my mind as I paint,” he says. “Often, I just start putting paint on the canvas and it will take me somewhere.” Among recurring elements are bird’s nests, sometimes in precarious placement — a combination that represents both security and the fragility of life.”

“The process of painting is, for me, an attempt to integrate elements that reside in my mind into a visual poem. I feel a need to share these ideas in my mind, to make them visible.”

“I begin a painting with only a general idea of the composition. The journey to find the image really begins when I first approach the canvas. I don’t know what the final result will be and it’s sometimes the start of a fleshing-out process that can last for weeks. I have always painted with acrylics. The fact that they dry quickly allows me to make changes. I routinely change the way an object looks and it’s not unusual for a painting to go through many color changes. Once the piece feels complete, I get deep satisfaction from absorbing it, thinking about it, finding its meaning for me – and hoping that it does the same for others.”

Jeff Faust | The Travelers | Acrylic | 60 x 48″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

“There’s a general theme to my work. I paint common objects – mostly found in nature – things that people routinely and unthinkingly pass by. Placing them in a painting creates an opportunity to look at them differently, perhaps more importantly, to see their vitality and presence. I generally show them in a state of movement to demonstrate the fleeting nature of impermanence of life around us. I want my work to cause people to pause and think. I may juxtapose objects in an interesting way, which results in viewers labeling the work surreal. I don’t feel the need to have a label on my work, but I also don’t object to the often-used term subtle surrealism to describe it.”

Jeff Faust | A Small Timepiece | Acrylic | 36 x 24″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

“I always find it interesting – and curious – that others want to know the meaning of a particular painting. I have two thoughts on that. First, I want the image to speak for itself. Second, what the image means to me isn’t really relevant. I think it’s presumptuous to think that my meaning is important. It’s only important to me. The painting is there for others to pause, to think, to find meaning within the context of their own lives.”

“I tend to want to retreat to a simple view and I get strength in that,” says Faust. “There’s nothing loud in them. Life is so loud these days. We’re bombarded with loud music and loud images and loud people. I’m trying to create these windows I can look at in order to re-center myself…windows that can re-center myself but also give people a respite from the world, too, and maybe help them re-center themselves as well.”

Jeff Faust | Scattering | Acrylic | 60 x 48″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

Contact Lily Pad | WEST for information on pricing and
to view additional works by Jeff Faust.


To learn more about Jeff and view his expanded portfolio, visit his website:

Jeff Faust at Lily Pad | WEST