The Surrealism Website
J.R. Slattum (-)

J.R. Slattum grew up in the Mid Willamette Valley, Oregon, where he spent most of his life. In 2012, he relocated his studio to Woodburn, just outside of Portland, in order to pursue art as a way of life.
His artistic endeavor first began in 2007 after he had a near death experience that change the course of his life. He decided to use his experience by examining his personal views on life in depth. The incident was a moment that flipped his perspective and shifted his world upside-down.
He has said, "Not only did it remind me of my childhood, but it planted in me a love of ontology, which is the study of the nature of being, and also how the process of creating art can offer a meditative realm to travel to the unknown. That is the moment when the dream of becoming an artist first grew in me. At that moment I was immediately an artist, and there would be no more tomfoolery!"
J.R. Slattum is self-taught, working in the medium of oil-paints. He loves everything about them including the control, the richness, the history, and even their smell. He states, "It's nice to build thin layers up and work with the transparency of the paint to create lighting effects".
His paint process starts with a monochromatic under-painting in burnt umber. Once that dries, he spends a good day pre-mixing his palette into color with value, and with many layers and strings. J.R. Slattum applies his chosen colors from dark to light, and keeps shadows transparent and smooth because he feels that lights are progressively thicker and less transparent. The effect resembles that of a topography map where the shadows of the valley light the peaks of structures.