The Enduring Abstract Pastel Landscapes of Jon Jay Cruson

December 16, 2020

Landscape painting by Jon Jay Cruson Art alumnus Jon Jay Cruson doesn’t take his acrylics paints and brushes with him when he scouts landscapes for his paintings; he brings sharpies. Sketching the broad strokes of rural Oregon vistas, Cruson takes this back to the studio and transforms them into large pastel canvases.

“I’ve never worked from photographs,” Cruson tells Eugene Weekly. “It feels too restrictive.”

Thirteen of these canvases are currently on view until Jan. 1 for Acrylic Paintings by Jon Jay Cruson at the White Lotus Gallery, near the University of Oregon’s Eugene campus. (The gallery offers private visits through appointments.)

In 1967, Cruson received an MFA with a focus on drawing, painting, and printmaking. While in grad school, Cruson even did a stint teaching lithography at the UO and would maintain his own lithography studio in Corvallis, Oregon, for nearly 40 years.

Read more about the artist in “The Geography of Landscape.”