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VIZ CITY BLOG: Audio, photos, transcripts & more by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.Airs every other Wednesday during Morning Edition and Here & Now.

Jon Jay Cruson: Interpretations of the Landscape

Painter Jon Jay Cruson
Sandy Brown Jensen


Show: Viz City

Subject: Jon Jay Cruzon His website: https://jonjaycruson.weebly.com

Date of Interview: Oct. 31, 2017

Date of Broadcast: Wed. Nov. 8, 2017

Script: Sandy Brown Jensen

Sound: Terry Way

RE: White Lotus Gallery, “Interpretation of the Landscape: Paintings by Jon Jay Cruson”

Show Dates: October 14th – November 28th

You’ve seen his wide open spaces paintings at the Federal Courthouse and loved them at the Freed Gallery on your last coast getaway. Now you can see them opening up the White Lotus Gallery with color and light.

While looking at the beautifully lit gallery, Jon says, "I think the presentation that HP put together is really very strong...the lighting on the paintings in this case is very strong."

I am talking with painter Jon Jay Cruson in the White Lotus Gallery, while discussing his show “Interpretations of the Landscape.” I am walking with him while discussing his paintings of wide open spaces. Each one looks like you’re looking out over a landscape of curving highway going down a grade, fields or marshes extending to an angular or colorful horizon line. Yet clearly these paintings all have a unified look.


"Interpretations of the Landscape" by Jon Jay Cruson currently showing at the White Lotus Gallery in Eugene, Oregon
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen
"Interpretations of the Landscape" by Jon Jay Cruson currently showing at the White Lotus Gallery in Eugene, Oregon

Jon agrees, "Probably … one, is for a lot of people right off the bat is color...also the composition and sense of landscape gives another unifying factor in the works. Another unifying factor for me is the plane with the space, meaning the landscape in some cases is tilted at different angles and the perspective changes.The unifying factors would be the color, the composition, also the plane and maneuvering the space."

We walk up to a big four foot by five foot painting that dominates the back wall and is called “The Valley Below #2.” It is painted in warm blocks of angular color with a road and trees with violet shadows defining the distance. What is it that Cruson loves the most about creating such a work of art?

He replies, "I think the process of the painting itself is what I like about it. I don’t think too much about the painting after it’s done; it’s finished."


All of Jon’s titles are a bit generic. When you see one of his paintings, you say, “Oh, I know exactly where that is!” But do you?

Jon says he does this on purpose, "Rather than having the viewer looking at the painting and looking at the title and saying, 'Oh, that’s a specific place. I know exactly where that is,' I try to keep the titles very open and non-descriptive in the sense -- in this case, 'Viewpoint #3,' but where that viewpoint is I might know where it is but someone else may not know that specific place ...if they see it as someplace they know, that’s fine. "


"Viewpoint #3" Acrylic. Jon Jay Cruson
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen
"Viewpoint #3" Acrylic. Jon Jay Cruson

Jon Jay Cruson says he likes to invite the viewers to imagine themselves in his landscapes, and that is easy to do with with such expansive, inviting vistas.

Come step into a painting by Jon Jay Cruson at the White Lotus Gallery where the show will be up until November 28. Hear and see more at the Viz City blog on KLCC.org. Viz City is co-produced by Sandy Brown Jensen and Terry Way.

Acrylic by Jon Jay Cruson
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen
Acrylic by Jon Jay Cruson

Terry Way has been hosting Viz City, KLCC's visual arts review program, since 2000. Terry hosts the show with Sandy Brown Jensen.