Welcome to Profile of the Week! We are delighted to present Jeremy Lee Koehn from Mesa, AZ, USA.

Jeremy creates realistic paintings of the underwater world.  To see more of Jeremy's artwork, visit his gallery: http://community.art-is-fun.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?scre...

When you view his portfolio, be sure to click on the images to view them larger!

Please join us for this interview with Jeremy:

How would you describe your art?

Most of my art is about the underwater world. In my art I strive for detailed realism, portraying subjects with their correct 2D outlines as if they were extracted from a 3D perception. There is a delicate balance and harmony among the colors, the creatures, and the spacing of those creatures in every masterpiece. Much of what determines the color is the light coming through the water and the shadows and effects that light creates. 

How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?

I was born in 1983. I started drawing on my desk with a pencil in first grade. The teacher never scolded me, but she did ask that I clean it off every day. In second grade our class watched a show called “Draw Along” where I ventured into realism, creating shadow, depth, and perspective. In fifth grade, Robert Wyland and Christian Riese Lassen were the two artists that inspired me to become a professional marine life artist. (For more, see seaoflifeart.com.)

What is your favorite medium and why?

I like working with acrylic because it dries fast and cleans up easy with water. I paint on compressed board because it is a smooth, hard, versatile surface on which I can do multiple techniques to achieve the most desired effect. 

Pick one work of art from your Art Colony portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?

The Lion of Judah (shown above) is a painting I did for my second Christian music album “The Lion of Judah”. It depicts an African Lion looming over a shallow hill with three silhouetted crosses.  It refers to Revelation 5:5, a fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah Jesus. The painting is 24”x24” acrylic on compressed board. I used raw umber and burnt umber glaze with a ragging technique to give it an “old” look. Then I used bristle brushes with opaque and diluted paint to do the detail, layer upon layer.

Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.

I would like to try doing a whole painting with airbrush paint. This kind of paint is very fine and the colors are rich like oil paints, but they clean up easy with water. 

Is there an element of making art that you enjoy the most, and why? 

I enjoy discovering new ways to create effects in art by learning new techniques,  or experimenting with different tools and paints. I love to create images of places I want to be. I was born and raised in Hawai’i by the ocean and spent a lot of time diving and surfing. I love to share those images wherever I can so others can see the beauty of my world and appreciate it. 

If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?

I am up at 5:30 am. After grabbing a caramel macchiato from Starbucks, I take a 24”x36” primed board and paint the bottom half blue. It will be an above and below water scene at sunset. I prime the sky white, then airbrush the yellow, then orange, then pink, and finally lavender.  Then I add dark clouds coming in from the side, and as they come near the sun, they get lighter.  There is a famous crater called Diamond Head where I live. It is silhouetted on the horizon just left to the setting sun. I paint the top of the water with a 2” brush, then create waves with a bristle fan.  There is a double hauled canoe in the distance coming over the waves.  Then we dive underwater and lay out shades of blue and purple. There is a beautiful white glow of light coming through, shining on a humpback whale and her calf. Tropical fish and a sea turtle swim in to see the new born as she takes her first breath. After 10 hours or so I finish the masterpiece. I take a picture, post it to all my social media sites, and then get a phone call from an art collector just before I go to bed asking for a buying price. I sell it to him for a fair amount, then go to bed and dream about being home again, in the ocean….

If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?

I would have to say Christian Riese Lassen because he is hands down the best marine life artist in the world. He is a champion surfer so I would go surfing with him in the morning and then pick his brain for every secret he would be willing to share with me about art.  I would ask him if he would be willing to do a painting with me. Then at the end of the day, we would chill, have a nice dinner, and talk business. I would ask him if we could get together again and possibly pursue a master artist to apprentice relationship. 

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?

Do it because you love it, not because you are trying to pay bills, or for vain glory.  Doing art should not be frustrating. If you are pursuing art as a career, then gather the necessary knowledge and pursue relationships that will lead to your success as an artist. Surround yourself with encouraging people who really care. Learn the business side of it, financing, marketing, and exposure. And most of all never put down your paint brush and let your talent go to waste. 

Anything else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?

I have a family - my wife Amy, my five year old son Benjamin, and my one year old son Judah.  I want to thank them for their constant support and belief in me. And I want to thank all you who left encouraging comments on my work and to the Art Colony staff who make all this possible. : )

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Congrats Jeremy! I enjoyed reading your interview, love your creations!

Congratulations Jeremy, I really enjoyed reading your interview and l love your art, it always has such a wonderful tranquil feel. All the best

Wow, these are just gorgeous! :)

Your work is absolutely extraordinary!  Such a joy to view each image.

CONGRATULATIONS Jeremy for being featured artist of the week....enjoyed your interview and loved all of your featured artworks...enjoy your moment in the spotlight!!!....Aloha

Congratulations, Jeremy.  Enjoy this well-deserved honor.  Your art is truly extraordinary!  I also enjoyed reading your interview.  Kudos to that wonderful teacher who allowed you to draw on your desk!  ♥

You are big artist Jeremy!

Congratulations Jeremy!!! Great interview and continued success!!!  Love your awesome and amazing art!!

Congratulations! Loved your interview and your work is so amazing!!

Wonderful work Jeremy! Congrats!

Your art work is incredible Jeremy.  I really enjoyed reading your interview, Thank you for sharing that part of your life with us.  Congratulations on being POTW ... an honor well deserved!

Wow! Jeremy this is amazing! Congrats and all the best!

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