Jeff Schilling, Cincinnati Member Since August 2013 Artist Statement Damn the Dullness…Full Color Ahead is the motto of Cincinnati artist Jeffrey Schilling. “If it’s not bold and bright, what’s the point?” he tells me when I ask him to characterize his style. Playful, light, and relaxing are other words I would use to describe his paintings. Welcome to the world of Jeff Schilling, an artist whose creative impulses are refreshingly not of the dark, depressed and gloomy variety seen all too much in recent years. Jeff was born and raised in the community of Delhi, a suburb on the west side of Cincinnati, OH. He grew up drawing and painting until a disagreement with an art teacher and a feeling of being “trapped by perfection” brought his creativity to a standstill. Twenty years later, with the encouragement of a regional artist and mentor, Jeff began to draw again using paint markers. He admits now that the medium, “…was limiting, but it got things flowing”. Eight years ago he switched from markers to acrylic and canvas and hasn’t looked back. Evolution as an artist and trying new things is important to Jeff. He showed me paintings he created with different techniques such as palette knife scraping and pointillism. One of the recent techniques Jeff has been working with is painting a canvas black then adding layers of color. He says, “It really makes a painting pop – adds texture.” Jeff paints to bring joy to others, purely and simply. No longer encumbered by perfectionism and unrealistic expectations, he is free to express the beauty and happiness he feels to others through his paintings. Sailing trips to Belize and the British Virgin Islands provided inspiration for many of his bright, beachy pieces. He also finds inspiration from the architecture and landscape of his native Cincinnati. Jeff painted an image of row houses in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine and gave it to a friend as a gift. Jeff loved it when his friend said, “Know what I like about this? It’s somewhere I want to be.” Jeffrey Schilling wants his art to make people happy. He believes there is enough sadness and darkness in the world and society’s obsession with perfection causes us to lose out on what matters the most: beauty, joy, and sharing these things with each other. When I see Jeff’s paintings I smile. Then he does the same and goes on to paint some more.