When it comes to learning the craft of painting, some students believe it's a bit too challenging for
them personally. However, they need to realize every painter in history experiences this feeling at times - many of
the best on a daily basis. These are the times one should think of painting as exactly that - a challenge - a chance
to exercise your problem solving skills. Through the process of elimination,
learning what not to do often teaches us more than anything. Therefore, making mistakes is unavoidable, and one should
understand it's simply part of the process.
So it could be said, a good painter is most successful when they are actually teetering on the edge
of failure. Only when one is pushing the limits by diving into some "uncomfortable
territory", are we actually painting at our full potential. I believe a painter
will never achieve greatness playing it safe.
"Many of life’s failures are men who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up".
JEFFRY’S TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
Jeffry’s teaching philosophy is based upon first teaching
strong technical skills and possessing a strong understanding of representational art. When teaching, he prefers to
inform the student more on technique, rather than on artistic style or any type of expressive philosophy. By first
mastering painting technique, and having proficiency in painting our actual physical world, this then gives
the painter the "tools" (or actual ability) to express themselves in nearly any way imaginable - without limitations.
I can't imagine Mozart trying to write and play all the music he heard in his mind, if he only had the ability to play
three or four chords - on only one instrument!
Jeffry also feels the "expressive" nature of an artist’s
work really should come from within the individual anyway. He believes when an instructor tries to influence the
creative element in painting too greatly, the student spends more energy trying to please the instructor's ideologies,
rather than their own.
Present Experience & Credentials
Northwestern University, Evanston, Il.
River East art Center, Chicago,Il.
Old Town Art Center, Chicago, Il.
Northern Indiana Arts Assoc., Munster, In.
South Shore Arts, Munster , In.
Merrillville Adult Ed., Merrillville , In.
Hobart arts league, Hobart, In.
Chesterton Art Gallery, Chesterton, In.
Hobby Lobby, Merrillville, In.
Hobby Lobby, Bloomington , In.
Michael’s Crafts, Bloomington, In.
Waldron Art Center, Bloomington, In.
Private lessons - Indiana & Illinois
Past & present memberships:
The Steeple Gallery, Saint John, In.
Apache Cove Gallery, Merrillville, In.
California Art Gallery, Merrillville, In.
Brown County Art Gallery, Nashville, In.
Oak Tree Gallery, Schererville, In.
Affordable Art, Nashville, In.
The Framing Guild, Bloomington, In.
Lake Artist Gallery, Hobart, In.
R&R Studios, Merrillville, In.
Artists Den Gallery, Valporaiso, In.
Illiana Artists Incorporated, Munster, In.
Home Essentials, Travers City, Mi.
Chesterton Art League, Chesterton, In
Iris Garden Gallery, Nashville, In.
Published Artworks thru:
Cups of Chicago – Chicago, IL.
Art World Chicago – Chicago, IL.
Associates Degree, Purdue University - Architectural
Bachelors Degree, Purdue University - Construction
The Star, Lake County, In. - May 2008
Chesterton Tribune, Porter County, In. - June 2008
Post Tribune, Lake County, In. – June
1999, February 2005
The Times, Lake County, In. – December
2002, February 2005
Television interview WYIN Channel 56 - Chicagoland
– September, 2003
Jeffry Jon Krafft
I’ve enjoyed the challenge of educating myself in various fields if and when possible throughout
my life, and studying the art of painting has been no exception. However, I do
also possess a considerable amount of formal education as well including degrees in architectural design, construction management,
and most recently, a masters degree in art education. I have also been very fortunate
to teach adults at numerous schools and art organizations through Chicago and Indiana the last 15 years; making teaching this
craft to others another important aspect of my career.
Having been a professional musician and occasional composer long before I took up painting, I later
decided to offer collectors something a bit different - a multi-sensory experience where a music score and short story would
accompany select paintings or prints.
Last, the most recent endeavor has been in the area of educational television. Not particularly satisfied with most televised how-to painting shows, I decided to produce something more
helpful and practical for those serious about their own art education. I began
by producing a small cable show for Chicago Comcast, and later produced something more independently in order to maintain
complete control over content, format, and artistic expression. Often shot like
a documentary film, the show is entitled “The Complete Painter” scheduled for PBS distribution late 2016’-
My personal career goals therefore include: producing museum quality paintings that impact the
art world in a substantial and meaningful way, become “known” for the music and literature that accompany my paintings,
and be considered a notable authority in the field of arts education thru television and other media.
As for the paintings themselves, because I personally enjoy the subject natter and styles of hundreds
of other artists, the challenge of creating an equally diverse body of work myself is probably the single best attraction
to becoming an artist in the first place. This came about almost by accident
– while working at an art gallery during my early days in school studying to be an architect.
From various styles in representational work, to concept art, and everything in-between, are all
of interest to me. Like music, I might create some works simply for the aesthetics
– the mood or atmosphere desired within a particular space. With other
work, I hope it may engender some sort of a dialogue among viewers or serve as a form of social commentary.
I thoroughly enjoy taking on the challenge of creating all such things; and at the same time, offer
more choices for my buyers. Every
artist has their own motivations and contributions to the art world. But for
myself, if producing artwork ever became a “routine”, painting in the same manor or subject day after day, I would
just as soon do something else.
Possessing the technical skills needed in producing a diverse body of work has another helpful
advantage for those also working in education. Long time instructors obviously
influence many of our world’s future artists. And an instructor may paint
like one of our greatest masters, but if their skill set is limited to one style, technique or overall subject matter, their
usefulness as an instructor is obviously limited. Students end up replicating
something that’s already been done, and are not portraying the world as it should be - through their own ”mind’s
However, if I had to choose a favorite category, I’ve always loved the great genre painters
often seen in the world’s best classical museums. These paintings usually
portray the great majesty of nature, the creatures that live within it, or the beauty found in the human figure. I spend the most time on work possessing some combination
of these subjects.
Painting the beauty found in a world that is often inhumane or “ugly” is most satisfying
and “good for ones soul”. Visual artists have a unique advantage
in this regard. I realized a long time ago that people tend to appreciate things
they often take for granted when those very same things are portrayed in a painting or sculpture. It’s an odd, yet interesting phenomenon. If artists
ever abandoned this great tradition, I fear the world will rarely see what’s right outside their window; due to their
head being glued to their “smart” phone. So, I often use the visual
arts as a means to remind people of the beauty and endless visual stimulations the world they live in has to offer.
Lastly, I also believe professional artists inherit a certain amount of accountability to their
patrons by constantly striving to grow and evolve creatively as an artist. I
myself hope to not only continue developing my technical skills, but more importantly, continue to pursue the countless avenues
artists have in order to communicate.