Jack Braudis is part of the grand tradition of en plein air oil painting where artists eschew the camera and take to the fields, coast and streetscapes to make paintings directly from nature. A difficult discipline, plein air painting is complicated by the weather, insects and curious passers by. Nonetheless it has a grand history with French Impressionism more or less starting the trend. Artists fascinated by the movement of the European middle class into the outdoors for leisure explored a new light filled palette and the textural possibilities of a more abstract brushstroke.
Braudis trained in art at the University of Massachusetts in a time of Modernist abstraction but it was his study under the mentor Maurice Kennedy that allowed him to develop as the master landscape painter he is today.
In 2009 Jack moved to Australia and painted from his studio in Newtown Sydney. In 2018 he moved further South to Geeveston where the Tasmanian landscape acts as a constant inspiration for his work.
Stylistically, these exuberant landscape works bear a resemblance to the Australian Impressionist John Russell. Informed by the bright Antipodean light and using an early Modern European palette Jack Braudis’s colour is complex and subtle. Dark greyed purples stand in for brown and salmon pinks underpin olive greens. The excitement of outdoor painting is conveyed by rough edges that show process and vigour while painterly brushwork expresses the wild nature of Southern Tasmania.
Jack Braudis tells his story;
I was born and raised in and around Boston, Massachusetts. My farther was a bit of a poet and Sunday painter and so I grew up with art as an integral part of family life.
We lived not far from the towns of Gloucester and Rockport, the location of the oldest artist colony in the US. A place overflowing with the tradition of plain air landscape painting going back to 19th century. And the artists there had their studios open and were happy to have you come in to look around or buy a painting. These were my earliest, and certainly most lasting, artistic influences. Our family were also frequent visitor to the Boston Museum of Fine Art along with all the other world class museums littering the state. This was where I was introduced to all of the major American and European artist, past and present. So it’s no wonder when asked, I said I’d be an artist when I grew up.
I studied art at the University of Massachusetts where I didn’t learn much. It was the 1960’s and art had been stood on its head by artists like Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt, and Judy Chicago. My teachers were raised on Picasso and Matisse, Pollack and Rothko, this new world was foreign territory to them. And landscape painting was hopelessly out of fashion.
It was a few years later I came upon Maurice Kennedy, a local landscape painter who’s training when straight back to those Gloucester/Rockport painters of my childhood. I spent seven years painting plain air landscape with Mo. He was a wonderful and generous teacher who taught me pretty much everything I know about landscape oil painting.
In the mid 1990’s I had my own studio/gallery in Gloucester for a few years but eventually the constant battle with the weather and the cold winters drove me more and more into the studio.
I began painting classical style still life and eventually non-representational abstract painting took over.
In 2009 I moved to Australia, living in Sydney with my new wife and working in my studio at Lennox Street Studios in Newtown. Then in 2018 we moved to Geeveston Tasmania. It was this move that brought me full circle back to plain air landscape painting. The landscape here in Tasmania simply couldn’t be ignored. Everywhere I looked there was a potential painting just waiting to be painted. But then Tassie has its share of inhospitable weather also. Again I found myself working in the studio on the rainy days painting whatever I could including cityscapes from photo I would take in Hobart.
I’m not expecting to move again and though I haven’t entirely lost interest in abstract painting, I suspect landscape and maybe some floral painting are going to be keeping me busy.