Jeff Morrow: Realism Today with a Look at the Past.

NOAPS Morrow The Young Pianist 30x24  “The Young Pianist”, Oil, 30×24, Winner of the ‘Best Figurative’ Award at the 2018 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit at the Eisele Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Capturing emotion and movement in a portrait or figure painting creates a lasting impression on the viewer.  In Jeff Morrow’s painting “The Young Pianist” the artist has conveyed a sense of peaceful concentration, using the piano structure to enclose the figure in the world of his music.  The soft edges and warm color scheme give help to impart the feeling of pleasant calm.

NOAPS Morrow The Designer 24x30 2016  “The Designer”, 24×30, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Artist.

Jeff Morrow has achieved great success since turning his full-time attention to his art.  Although he painted as a hobby for many years, his hobby became a serious vocation after a corporate downsizing.  He had been painting in oil for many years, but when his time was fully devoted to art, he began taking lessons on the basics as well as more “sophisticated techniques” with David Mueller, a Cincinnati artist.  He continues to paint and learn from a core group of Cincinnati artists, drawing inspiration from “their passion and dedication to excellence”.

NOAPS Morrow The Painter 18x14  “The Painter”, 18×14, Oil on Canvas, Private Collection

Jeff is primarily a portrait and figure painter, though he also finds inspiration in sporting animals, urban and outdoor scenes as well as still life.  When working, he only occasionally does preliminary sketches, but starts the painting with an idea and the toned canvas.  He first lays in the values, considers his composition, and once these are established he begins in color.  His brushes range from hog bristle flats to synthetic flats and the softer sables for edge control.  His palette consists of Flake White replacement, Winsor Yellow, Winsor Yellow Deep, Yellow Ochre pale, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Light Red, Cadmium Scarlet, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, Viridian,  Sap Green, and occasionally black.  His choice of supports is usually one with little tooth, or panels.

NOAPS Morrow Mint Julep Cup with Roses in progress   NOAPS Morrow Mint Julep Cup with Roses 14x11 2018   Left:  “Mint Julep Cup with Roses” in progress: Right: “Mint Julep Cup with Roses”, Completed, 14×11, Oil on Panel, Collection of the Artist. 

As plainly seen in his work, Jeff is a realist painter.  The resurgence in the popularity of realism, which is evident in the revival of atelier schools of art, relies in large part on the practices of the old masters.  These masters, including Edmund Tarbell, Joseph DeCamp, and John Singer Sargent, have impacted Jeff’s work with their “disciplined yet painterly manner.”

NOAPS Morrow Middleburg Hounds 18x24 2016  “Middleburg Hounds”, 18×24, Oil on Canvas, Private Collection.

NOAPS Morrow Winter Shadows 18x14 2014  “Winter Shadows”, 18×14, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Artist.

And although Jeff finds the masters to influence his work, he feels that authenticity is most important. In finding one’s own voice, he advises “take all your lessons learned and all your good influences and apply them to your own natural style.  You have to find your own voice and use it towards what you wish to create.”

Jeff Morrow maintains a studio in Cincinnati, and is represented by Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Cincinnati.

To view more of Jeff’s work, visit his website at

To view more of the 2018 NOAPS Best of America Exhibition visit

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

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