Artist of the moment…..Jeff Legg….


This is a great internationally known and collected artist best known for his work with the still life. He paints a variety of vases, glasses, teapots, bronze objects, alongside grapes, branches of eucalyptus, slices of cantalope, and fish. You get the idea. He paints much in the same manner as present day master David Leffel or his wife Sherry McGraw.


He gave a wonderful painting demo yesterday at the Oil Painters of America West Regional Exhibit in downtown Denver at  Legg paints on masonite which isn’t totally smooth, he likes some texture. Covered the panel with a raw umber and white grey. He then used umber and black to lay in the silhouettes of the objects. The interesting part here was that he took control of the leaves by splitting the canvas with very dark and very light leave shapes. It wasn’t at all how they appeared in person.


After laying in the basic shapes and shadows of his subjects Legg made a great mauve combo for some of the leaves of the eucalyptus. It looked great and even better next to the following color, a bright orange slice of cantalope. He then painted a vase in a few strokes with some quick dark strokes of blue. The canvas had awesome color at this state. As he states many times when he starts in a subject after blocking in the vignette, time to bring it to life.


Legg was quick to tell us he paints many times from memory that way he can accomplish a feel that wants rather than just a realistic recreation. By the way the set up was just on table with an ordinary lamp with a light bulb. I agree that its no sense to get a 5000 calvin or what have you light bulb to view something, you can use your artistic license to create the colors you want. He just used an ordinary light to light the subject from the left of the painting.


The coolest part of the painting was when he brought a wonderful large copper teapot to life. The used a palette knife to add some oranges and yellow sweeping lines of color which made the entire painting jump. He also used the knife to further work the dark underside of the table. One thing to make certain was to light the top of the table to give your painting more depth. More light on top, more shadow on the bottom.


He then put a few lights into some grapes and that was it! Just over 2 hours time. A great demonstration and the audience was totally quiet, engaged highly in following the path of the artist.


Another tip I learned was that Legg uses faster drying that oils alkyd colors and gamsol by gamblin for his medium of choice. He also uses the slow dry medium as a varnish, which due to the quick drying time of the paints a work can be varnished in a few days after painting whereas with oils you should weight up to six months time.


Legg has three painting DVDs out, I haven’t bought any yet but was so impressed with his demo I will order at least one next paycheck!

A short clip of the artist teaching at Whidbey Island Fine Arts.

A clip showing one of his Lilliedahl video productions with Jeff Legg. Mrs. Lilliedahl passed away recently but she was a great teacher and I have several of her dvds and look back upon them often. Great painter of roses was Mrs. Lilliedahl.

Jeff Legg was born in 1953 in Joplin, Missouri. He enjoyed art as a youngster and was ablet to study with a great regional artist named Darrell Dishman. Legg then went on to study art in college in Minnesota at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has been in many national art magazines such as American Art Collector and Southwest Art magazine.


Before starting an art career the artist ran a successful retailing business.


This demo was just great. I found this artist’s approach more interesting and quicker than David Leffel, who paints in a similar manner. Using alkyds seemed to work very well for the artist and I will give it  a shot this coming week. The most interesting thing I learned was that Legg thinks most of the still life painters out there are bad, and there are many bad still life paitntings out there to look at. But Legg enjoy them very much and his love for his subject shows thru in his paintings!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: