Painter Jeremy Durling sheds light on career

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Nicholas Keyes

On Tuesday, March 15, over 60 students and faculty filled Kennedy 112 to hear the life story of the remarkable painter, Jeremy Durling. Durling is a representational and perceptional painter, painting still life and models with his own interpretation in the final product.

As the lecture opened, Carrie Nixon, an associate professor of studio art, introduced Durling as “a remarkable rising star in the Boston painting scene.” Throughout the lecture, Durling shared his life story of how he got to where he was today and what influenced him in some of his works.

Over the course of his life, Durling has had many experiences that led him to a career as an artist. He first obtained an Associate’s degree in English at Mount Wachusett Community College.

A year later, he found himself registering for classes at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design after becoming inspired by Henri Matisse’s painting, “The Red Studio.” During his tenure at Mass Art, he met many influential people that advanced his passion and talents for art including Nancy McCarthy, Christopher Chippendale and George Nick.

One of the greatest things he learned from Chippendale was: “in a spiritual sense, it’s the activity itself [of painting] where the satisfaction comes from…It’s not just about the openings and the showcases.”

Later in his career, he was offered a teaching job.

“It’s not just painting; you need to explain yourself…which made me a better painter,” said Durling.

Throughout the lecture, Durling showcased his paintings and drawings and spoke about each one, including his influences of each. One of them, titled “Mickey’s Cove” was a painting that he created while in Deer Isle, Maine. This painting draws out his passion for painting in the landscape, but expresses some difficulties with this: “so many things are in motion at once that creates many different challenging aspects of [landscape painting].”

“I found Jeremy’s lecture very inspirational because he expressed his intense and pure love of art…it was very motivational how he spoke about the way he devoted so much time and thought to his art,” said sophomore English major Castine King.

Out of everything he said, the most important take-away to an aspiring artist was to be aware.

“Look for something unexpected in what [you’re] painting…because it’s tough to know if you’re actually achieving something,” he said.

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