With artistic mastery far beyond his years, Jay Kemp’s work is highly sought after by art connoisseurs for its perfection of detail, exquisite coloration and unique style that juxtaposes illusion and emotions with super realism. His acrylic, oil, watercolor and gouache paintings capture the very soul and spirit of nature. Created from his experiences and travels in nature and coupled with his unique vision of art, his paintings are developed and based on abstract principles of composition where he pays careful attention to the relationship and arrangement of shapes and forms. Kemp says he does not pursue a painting of any subject without a solid artistic foundation.
After attending Anderson College on a baseball scholarship and graduating from North Georgia College and State University on a full art scholarship, Kemp dedicated his life to pursuing what had become his passion in life—-wildlife art. He began his career as a professional artist in 1991. Knowing that there was nothing better than experiencing nature first hand, he began to invest as much time as possible in the outdoors learning all he possibly could about nature itself. The intensity of the sun, the different lights of the seasons, the wind, the rain, the snow, the fog and even the smells all became a part of his artistic vision and are drawn upon firsthand to create his paintings.
An avid outdoorsman, Kemp paints subjects he knows and enjoys most—-wildlife, nature, and the outdoors. Although he may use up dozens of reference materials for a single painting, Kemp draws from his experience outdoors to create his realistic works. With each painting, he carefully plans every element, recreating momentary images through hours of work to produce incredibly realistic still life shots. “I strive to capture those images that pass quickly in our lives, leaving a fleeting yet memorable impression,” says the artist,
Among several other best of shows and excellence awards, Kemp was chosen as an artist to watch by U. S. Art Magazine and won the Nature Works Art Show’s “Award of Excellence”. He also received the Florida Wildlife Exposition’s highest award, “The People’s Choice Award”, and most recently has been chosen as the Featured Artist for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston., South Carolina in February 2013.
Kemp, along with his wife and two sons, live in Gainesville, Georgia on Lake Lanier, a 38,000 acre lake surrounded by wildlife and nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He has traveled throughout North America in search of reference and artistic insight, and yet his paintings are developed from experiences within a few miles of this home.
When asked about his artwork, Kemp will tell you he is most excited about the use of his art to help raise awareness and monetary support for many conservation groups, nature centers, and environmental groups as well as related charities. He continues to be very concerned about our environment and hopes that through his work, he can continue to inspire, educate, and influence people to support environmental causes around the world ultimately helping to protect our planet from destruction.
Ask Jay Kemp what his ultimate goal for his artistic endeavors is and you will hear an answer straight from his heart: “I want people to experience the power, the beauty, and the infinite possibilities that nature and art have impressed upon my very soul. If I can accomplish that, I will feel I have succeeded as an artist…”