Jonathan Day Biography

I was born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1954 -- an Army brat. I travelled extensively in the continental United States before I was five, but settled down at the age of six in Juneau, Alaska. Pretty much anything you imagine about growing up in Alaska is true. I came to Oregon in 1972, and spent the seventies having embarassing adventures in Portland.

In 1979, I moved to Corvallis, Oregon, to attend Oregon State University, and have lived there ever since. I recieved a B.S. in Art from OSU in 1983, having done my undergraduate work primarily with the sculptor Wayne Taysom. I have produced a small body of sculpture work -- carvings in marble, sandstone, and black walnut -- but since the mid-80's have worked mainly in two-dimensional media, and, for the most part, from imagination. (I do not, for example, use models for any of my figures.)

All of this has become an effort which is a bit more humble, and honest, than it used to be -- I hope. As a visual artist, I want to probe as deeply as I can the same depths of image and metaphor which we find in myths and poetry. I hope that every day I can bring more skill, more ease, grace, deftness and wit to bear on this work. But those who know me sometimes hear me say, "I'm learning how to paint." They may think I'm joking somehow, but I am utterly serious.

While pursuing these efforts, I have worked as -- among other things -- cannery worker, furniture-factory worker, baker, chicken-shit shoveller, Montessori School art instructor, elementary school-teacher, construction worker in Alaska, life-drawing model, sculptor's assistant, cook, welder in a railroad boxcar assembly plant, and microwave electrical engineer. I have done volunteer work, as art instructor for seniors with Altzheimer's disease. I have exhibited in Corvallis & its environs since the late 80's.

I'm a "learning fool." I am an amateur astronomer, zoologist, and luthier. I have taught myself Latin and Greek, and have read a fair bit of the Classics. I am currently learning German. I hold an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. I earned my Ph.D. in physics from OSU in 2008.

In 2005, I purchased an etching press, something for which I had been yearning for a long time.

In the last few years, I have performed several book illustration commissions. Most recently I executed cover illustrations and CD insert illustrations for audio books of the noted classics scholar Stanley Lombardo, performing his translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, with additional readings of synopses and introductions by Susan Sarandon.

Artist's Statement

As an artist, (it goes without saying) I work (naturally) in the service of God (of course). But -- and this is important -- I happen to think that there is a species of Irreverence which is near and dear to the heart of God. I believe that there is a certain kind of Misbehavior which angels delight to behold. I believe that Heaven smiles, whenever it hears a particular sort of Loud Guffaw. In point of fact, it is that species of irreverence, it is those sorts of misbehavior, accompanied by that kind of laughter, which is this particular artist's ideal. -- Which is, of course, ridiculous, because who but a Prophet can be thus Irreverent? Who but a Saint is capable of proper Misbehavior? And who but one of the Fools, or the Clowns, who were present at the Creation, can bring forth from us that particular sort of Loud Guffaw? Ridiculous -- to Put It Mildly. So what remains? There remains being this particular ridiculous artist, being a person who loves to draw. Who wishes, * where appropriate * to put levity in the place of gravity. Who is obsessed with the Human Form, and with all of the different ways it can appear in works of art. And who will die happy, if he can, just once or twice in his life, manage to Break the Rules in just the right way.