NEW KDHamptons Travel Diary: Jim Gingerich Paints En Plein Air In Zion National Park
Coveted Bridgehampton artist Jim Gingerich has been widely exhibited throughout the United States at major galleries and museums over the past three decades. “Nobody moves a brush quite like Jim Gingerich,” says art critic Renee Dahl. “Each mark, whether used to create a radiant sky or define a fleeting shadow, harnesses an incredible energy.” A short list of Jim’s private collectors includes: Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton, Robert DeNiro, Melanie Griffith, David Gruber, Mariel Hemingway, Don Johnson, Kurt Vonnegut, Glenn Frey of The Eagles, and Roy Scheider, and….KDHamptons! Jim’s painting of our 1887 Victorian farmhouse, Maple Shade, captures the history of our home, the fading shingles, the wrap around porch, the climbing roses, and perennial gardens. The painting ‘breathes’, as do all of Jim’s paintings. Jim checks in with us from his current plein air painting spot in Utah in this NEW KDHamptons Utah Travel Diary, below:
KDHamptons: What brought you to Utah Jim? Which part of the state are you in?
Jim Gingerich: I’m twenty minutes outside St. George, in the southwest corner of Utah living in a little town called Ivans. I’m staying with old friends John Boccardo and Derek Esplin who are more than art collectors, more than patrons, more like patron saints. I’m here to paint under this dome of crystal light and explore the grand space of southern Utah, filled with geological wonders: towering rock outcroppings bordered by deep gorges, cottonwood lined streams, dry washes, cinder cone volcanoes, raw desert, irrigated horse pastures, and forested mountains where snow lingers through May….
I’m here to heal the soul.
KDHamptons: Is there a specific area where you are painting?
Jim: I am currently in a loop from St. George to Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon in Utah. For me, painting open air landscapes integrates a reverence for our natural surroundings. When I am home in the Hamptons, I actually swim a half mile in the sea almost every day for the medicinal benefits of joining the largest living organism on earth. I always feel better when I get out of the water than when I go in.
Jim’s work is featured in the public collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yale Art Gallery, the Duke Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Fine Art, the Art Museum of South Texas, the Arkansas Art Center, and the Richmond (VA) Art Museum,.
KDHamptons: Is this your first time painting in Utah?
Jim: Yes it’s my first time painting here, but. I drove my Volkswagen bus through here in the mid ’70s and have wanted to paint here since then. Suddenly, it was perfect timing for me to return and realize this series. The weather conditions and sunshine have confirmed that for me.
KDHamptons: Have you found any great local restaurants to share with our readers?
Jim: When away from New York I seek authentic Mexican food and BBQ and actually found both in Veyo, Utah. With a great view of an extinct volcano, I lunched on a delicious chicken tostada with salsa verde, served by Claudia at a Mexican cafe called Mr. Cedollin. While walking across the street to my car, I caught a faint whiff of mesquite smoke, but it smelled sweeter than I remembered. I followed my nose and behind a little shop called Veyo Pies, I found a BBQ smoker cooking away. I stood next to it letting the smoke circle around me and was immediately transported, mouth watering, back to my youth in Texas. Curtis, the BBQ man, emerged from Veyo Pies and we discussed the various merits of mixing hickory or apple wood with the mesquite to sweeten the smoke. I got half a pound of smoked brisket to go with a side of spicy BBQ sauce which I enjoyed before my afternoon painting session.
KDHamptons: Will you be coming back to the Hamptons for summer?
Jim: I want to renew my half mile ocean swims with my daughter, Danielle. I miss her already, but surely I’ll be missing the salt water and the smell of the sea by summer. I love to swim at Gibson Beach in Sagaponack, where I also love to paint. The gentle hiss of the sea, the salt smell, and the fabled sunlight refracting off both the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound work their subtle seduction on me and I become blissfully intoxicated. The trance hasn’t worn off yet.