Better With Age


On page 70 of his marvelous book, Alan Castel cites creative contributions that artists have made later in life, both large and small.  Some of those have even come in the face of considerable challenges, such as Monet’s famous water lily paintings which he began at age 73 while plagued by serious visual issues.

I have blogged about the art of Jeffrey Packard before, and our having fallen out of touch is principally due to my shortcomings as a friend.  But thanks to the attributes of Facebook, Jeff has been sharing his later–in-life work with me and many others.

Packard 5

There is something very striking about Jeff’s current artistry, and the way he diffuses color and light.

Packard 1

Jeff’s dream-like representation of Jacob and the Ladder lends itself naturally to clarity embedded in haziness, the essence of which he beautifully captures.  But what about this one?

Packard 2

Jeff tags it as:  “…Isaac his father who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are Esau’s hands.”

The biblical verse that introduces that scene is as follows:  It happened, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esav his elder son, and said to him, “My son?” He said to him, “Here I am.”

What a gift Jeff has to be able to represent biblical passages this way.  The clarity of Isaac’s eyesight had waned, but as is often the case his other senses sharpened in compensation.  The multiple foci in the painting create the perfect framework for this gradation in senses, and the continuum between certainty and doubt.

My friend, Jeff, has put his remarkable resilience on display.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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1 Response to Better With Age

  1. doctuhdon says:

    a brilliant post about a remarkable artist. I particularly like your comment about the “continuum between certainty and doubt”.

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