Jason Craighead


My name is Jason Craighead, I was born in Tennessee in 1971 and I am currently living and working in downtown Raleigh, NC. I have come to believe that the most important thing to understand in the process of making work is the “why”…. and for me it has become that when I bring these things to life, I know they are a recording of me, my life, and it feels like it makes me “real”. 

Image courtesy of Jason Craighead

Tell us your story, how did you come to painting?

I always found it magical to imagine something into existence. The first time I stood in front of real work in a museum I can recall the feeling of, “wow… someone created this thing”, and I could “feel” the artists through the works… and I set off on the adventure to see if I could pour enough of my own self into my work to create from a place that is my very own… now at 49 years old… the adventure remains the same.

How would you define your current painting?

Poetic, emotional, expressionistic. Conceptually my work revolves around my personal human experiences and our human collective experience. My work is an invitation to a conversation with our deepest selves, this is a conversation that is never ending…

Image courtesy of Jason Craighead

Tell us about your style and technique. Any secret that can be told?

I would say my process relies a lot upon calculated accident and intuition. I spend more time looking at the works than touching them, studying the subtleties in the surfacing and believing them into existence… this response kind of flows into the next question as well…

How do you usually start your paintings? With a sketch, a draft or is it just an improvisation?

I let things start on the floor to become “seasoned” with drips and footprints etc…this way I am never faced with the proverbial “blank” canvas, I am always in a state of collaboration with the evidence of life in the studio… eventually the canvas comes up to the wall and this is where the composing of space and information takes place… refining, reshaping… seeing.

What are your motivation forces? And the artists who have been and are an influence for you?

Motivation forces… to have a life that is filled with the artistic process, to create work that moves the spirit… I am inspired by many fabulous dead guys, as well as a 3yr old with a crayon.

Image courtesy of Jason Craighead

What can you tell us about your studio, what kind of place is it?

It is a very powerful place, a place where one can become the channel for the poetry to flow freely.

What is art for you?


Piece with Artist. February 2021. © www.piecewithartist.com

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