Whether it’s Lady Crab 2 Riding in Swirling Kelp, from his new “Crustacean and Shell Series,” or Big Fall Maples, Jack Dickerson’s acrylics exude reverberating, wonderful color.
It’s no surprise that nature, the wellspring of creativity, is his guiding force. “My painting is about discovery and exploring,” Dickerson says. “I’m always looking for new color or composition experience,” he says. Since the day he and his wife, artist Kate Dickerson, moved to Brewster two years ago, he has been intrigued with the local natural world. “When we moved here that winter, I started walking on the Brewster flats, when everything washes up on beach,” he says. “I take these tiny things and make them big, to show their beauty.”
The couple’s house isn’t one of Brewster’s majestic antique homes, but a contemporary design in French-Italian style. Dickerson’s mother was Dutch, and Dickerson went to school on a Ford Foundation grant in Switzerland, so the European mood suits him. In a large attached home studio, Dickerson displays his colorful oils, along with his very different calligraphic “Rooster Series.”
“Painting is a very complex thing,” he says. “There are so many problems to solve. I try to be buttoned up, but loose enough so it can go wherever it wants to go.”
Dickerson began focusing on his art after his career as a graphic artist eventually led him to a period of reflection. “I thought, there must be something more,” he says. He studied for a time with Wolf Kahn, a studio assistant of Hans Hofmann’s, clearly a high point for Dickerson.
He considers himself a risk-taker, likely something that dates to childhood. “We lived in Connecticut in the woods,” he says. An illustrator who lived nearby set up young Dickerson with art materials. When he wasn’t creating artwork, Dickerson sailed, hung out in marshes, or packed up sandwiches and went adventuring. “Those two elements played an enormous role in what I paint,” Dickerson says. The ocean so nearby in his boyhood and today—its inhabitants, boats, and flotsam and jetsam—shows up in its many guises. He is also drawn to trees, and paints their colors in vivid brushstrokes.
Today, art is a large part of his inner consciousness. “People ask me, ‘why do you paint?’” Dickerson says. “I say, because I have to. You could say it’s a calling; I don’t know. I’m just doing it. I’m trying really hard to just let it flow.”
Jack Dickerson’s work may be seen at Dickerson Gallery at 1050 Rt. 6A in Brewster; and atdickerson.com.