The way Jeff Jacques looks at it, he will never work another day in his life.

“I don’t consider this work at this point. It’s play,” said the Lewiston-based artist. 

Jacques “retired” from receiving a regular paycheck two years ago. “I retired at 50,” he said. “Beat my dad by two years.”

Jacques said the agreement with his wife, Kim, was for him to “work as hard for myself as I did for others.”

He has worked hard, creating more than 7,000 small paintings since retiring. 

Jacques said his artwork has evolved a lot since dedicating much more time to his craft.

“It has gone from exclusively black on white, to white on black on white, to one or two colors on black or white, to full color,” he said.

“I don’t start paintings with a plan,” said Jacques, who often finds a place for found objects in his artwork. Items such as old card tables, framed maps of Wayne, Maine, and even paper plates used to mix paint have found their way into his work.

Jacques describes his style as a sort of East meets West. He will sometimes start a piece using Western techniques and finish it with more of an Eastern influence.

The collection he is currently working on is titled “Portal Into Ainu,” a tribute to a language spoken on a northern Japanese island. 

Another Asian influence is Jacques’ exclusive use of rainwater and snowmelt. Jacques tipped a Mason jar of water from the April Fool’s Day storm to mix paint for a piece titled “Ceremonial.” 

As it turns out, Jacques discovered that using water from one’s garden is an age-old tradition of Chinese artists. 

Jacques has participated in past Lewiston-Auburn Art Walks, displaying his work at Argo Marketing on Lisbon Street. “Portal Into Ainu” is not ready for Friday’s Art Walk, but he is hoping to display the work during next month’s event on July 21. 

“I don’t know where this is all going,” he said.

But he knows one thing: “I’m all done with jobs. I’m going to have an art career.”

The reflection of Lewiston artist Jeff Jacques appears in a framed map of Androscoggin Lake that Jacques picked up at a yard sale. Found objects find a way into Jacques’ artwork on a regular basis. 

Jacques uses water that falls from the sky for his paintings. Rainwater and snowmelt are mixed with his paints. Water that fell during an April Fool’s Day storm has been kept in a Mason jar. 

Jeff Jacques works on a piece that will be featured with a body of artwork titled “Portal Into Ainu.” 

Jeff Jacques works on a mixed-media painting titled “Ceremonial” at his home-based art studio in Lewiston. 

Jeff Jacques is a mixed-media artist. 

What: Art Walk LA 

Where: 20 venues across downtown Lewiston and Auburn

When: Friday, June 16, 2017

Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Jacques’ version of the “Tin Man” was created with the contents of a toolbox that someone had thrown away. The two bottles of bubble soap are not part of the art piece.


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