Meet artist Jude Bischoff. One of over 35 artists showing at the 39th annual Artisans Festival, Thanksgiving Weekend at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. This holiday tradition features Northern California’s finest artisans showing original, hand-crafted art. Meet the artisans and makers. Expect to find the extraordinary at this show. November 29 – December 1, 10am-5pm, $3 daily admission, $5 weekend pass.
Jude Bischoff and his daughter, Bevin, topped out on Cathedral Peak in Yosemite’s Toulumne Meadows. “That was one of my finest moments in climbing, sitting on the summit of Cathedral Peak with my daughter looking down at Half Dome and the Grand Canyon of the Toulumne . We summited in late October and it was bitter cold. We were so stoked to be reveling in such beauty and to share this moment with each other.
Jude’s outdoor adventures find him climbing up the side of an imposing cliff face or mountain biking cross country on forest and mountain trails. After getting what Jude describes as, his Ya Ya’s out, he can settle down to paint on the side of a mountain stream. The wild life he encounters when camping make their regular appearance in Jude’s art. Coyote and fox that wonder into camp, Buffalo, Bear, Ravens and Wild Donkeys are familiar subjects in Jude paintings.
Jude began his art career at age 4 when his talent was discovered while cutting out figures for a Nativity scene. Since then Jude has sharpened his art skills along with his love for nature
Nature swims through these paintings like a fat bellied fish in a mountain stream. Spending about 6 months a year camping has its rewards. Painting a landscape on site or meeting an animal in person gives you a tremendous sense of connection with the subject. When you hear the rushing stream, the song of the birds and the wind blowing your canvas, this is a direct connection to the driving forces of the universe, both seen and unseen. “Meeting an animal and personally capturing the photo to work from, elevates the energy of the painting tenfold, because that moment of connection follows you”.
Rhythms found in nature, the same rhythms found in music, flow off of the brush and onto the canvas. These shapes dance across the paintings with purpose and a life force.
“Every day is a blessing as an artist. I cannot wait to get into the studio or out in nature and get going on the next painting. Sometimes it is like a fullback finding his opening, patience is a virtue. When the front line creates an opening, he sprints up the field towards the goal line. With patience, the artist will know when he is in the flow and it is time for him to paint. You must be physically available when the inspiration lands.
Recently, while camping in Joshua Tree National Park, the urge to paint hit strongly after 5 days of climbing and exploring. When the inspiration arrived, it was just a matter of letting the image flow onto the canvas. Jude paints from his heart, there are no preliminary drawings or idea sketches. The painting progresses as he goes, drawing with the brush. When he attempted to attend a life drawing session last year, Jude discovered he did not own a drawing pencil.
When giving workshops Jude encourages the participants to let the art flow from their heart. Never do you question your direction, just do it. This knowing combines with the right technique and experience will produce a lot of fun and enjoyable art.
An artist has a responsibility to create joy in his art, Jude says. When love and joy goes into a painting, and that work is purchased and brought into someone’s home., that same love and joy radiates off the wall and into the whole environment.
Jude received his formal art degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He has been living in California since 1982.
Jude and Laura live on a beautiful forested property with their border collie, Flyzo, near grass Valley CA. The studio backs up to open space and the Empire Mine State Park. Deer and coyote are a common site. An occasional bear will wonder in and stir things up in the neighborhood. For more on Jude’s art visit www.judebischoff.com