Ted Seth Jacobs
Ted Seth Jacobs is in Boston doing a series of demonstration lectures. He is the teacher of my own teacher, Dennis Cheaney, who organized the series and is hosting them in his studio downtown. Ted is a remarkable painter whose career has spanned 60 years, and is one of the leading lights of realist painting. In addition, he is a born teacher; his school in rural France has attracted hundreds of students, and he’s trained a whole generation of some of the best-known realist artists, such as Jacob Collins, Anthony Ryder, and Michael Grimaldi. Among realists, he seems to be the quintessential “Painter’s Painter”.
Although he has a very kindly and unassuming manner, I was immediately thunderstruck by both the depth and breadth of the knowledge and insight be brings to bear on the practice of painting and drawing. In the space of just a few sentences, he would touch on physics, anatomy, geometry, optics, engineering, art history, pedogogy, physiology, materials, perception, oh, and philosophy to boot. And these were not the abstracted mental meanderings of a scattered intellectual. Rather, all his comments had direct relevance to the subject at hand, which is to say aspects of drawing the human body. It was really a virtuoso performance, indicitive of a lifetime spent deeply pondering the problems of making art.
My upcoming Mexico trip prevents me from seeing all the lectures, but I will get to as many as I can.
BTW, Ted’s website has a lot of images, but the reproduction quality is not generally good. The ARC pages for him have fewer paintings, but they are higher quality reproductions.