Jeff Otis is an oil painter, living in Albuquerque, known primarily for his landscapes. Half his pre-adult life was spent in Europe where his interest in art was facilitated by the proximity of some of the world’s greatest art museums.
Landscape, especially the dramatic vistas of the desert southwest, is his central focus. His style is representational and often accompanied by contrasts of light and shade as well as dynamic color harmonies. He attributes much of his development as a painter to great artists of the past such as Monet, Sargent, Millet, Edgar Payne, John F. Carlson, and Sorolla. Contemporary artists having equally important influence include Wilson Hurley, Michael Lynch, Russell Chatham, Clyde Aspevig, Richard Schmid, Laura Robb, Dan Gerhartz, Wayne Wolfe, Ralph Oberg, David Leffel, and Sherrie Mcgraw.
He is a signature member of Oil Painters of America. The New Mexico State Permanent Collection has one of his paintings as does the New Mexico Museum of Art and History. In 1996 he won the Excellence Award at the Oil Painters of America Western Regional show and the Fine Art Connoisseur Award for Excellence in the 2009 National exhibit. His paintings are found in individual and corporate collections throughout the United States as well as Japan and Europe.
In my workshops, I teach that painting is all about SPICE T (Shape, Placement, Intensity, Contrast, Edges, and Temperature). The secret is painting with emotion using SPICE T. I believe each of us has a little inner voice (LIV) that recognizes beauty, harmony, drama, and a good painting. This same LIV recognizes when a painting is unsatisfactory. If this was not the case, only trained professional artists or art historians would bother going to galleries and art museums. I teach that our LIV does not need years of training, it just somehow knows. This is very liberating because we do not need to be told why a painting by Michelangelo, or Monet, or Rembrandt, or Klimt, or Sorolla is powerful. You and I have the same LIV as your favorite artist.
Becoming an artist is about learning to communicate with my LIV. It cannot speak, it just emotes. So, if I am working on a painting and my LIV does not like something, I have to figure out what it is that is bothering it. That is where SPICE T comes in. Ninety-five percent of the time, the problem is there. I will think about each part of SPICE T and almost always solve the problem.
The better I become as a painter, the better I can instill emotion into my paintings. It is like writing. First, you learn how to make letters, then sentences, then paragraphs, and finally, stories full of emotion. In painting, you learn how to mix colors, how to make different types of brush strokes, how SPICE T works, and finally, you create an emotional story made of paint.