Pictured at left: Marsh, Oil On Panel
For almost 30 years, Jaron has been painting. And, he makes his living at it. “I have always made art, but I would say that it was my maternal grandmother who made the idea that one could make a living from art seem possible,” says Jaron. “She was a porcelain painter and taught porcelain painting. She always supported and encouraged my interest in art.”
He has exhibited in solo and group shows in the U.S., the U.K., Italy, and Germany, including a solo show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2014. As an artist he makes photorealist oil paintings and looser, moodier, watercolors that are based on photos.
Jaron has been conserving paintings for a private collector for the last 10 years. When his family moved to Rhinelander three years ago he started working for his employer on a contract basis and began to take on other clients as well. It’s inspiring, but detailed work.
He is represented by Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis, but his studio is located at Art Start in Rhinelander. “I personally feel more focused here than I did in Minneapolis,” he says. “It was a great place to live, but it was also easy to get distracted. Rhinelander has more amenities than many of the surrounding communities, so it’s more convenient for me to pick up many of the materials that I need. If I need any special materials I just order them online, which was often what I would have needed to do in the city.”
Last year, Jaron took a NET Entrepreneurial Training course at Nicolet and is in the process of starting a business where he makes commissioned paintings of people’s land. “I sit down with people and ask them questions about their land in order to find out who they are, and why this place is important to them,” says Jaron. “Then they show me around the property and familiarize me with the spots that are the most meaningful to them. After that, I photograph their land, possibly over multiple visits, and show them different images that I would be interested in making a painting from and after we agree, I make their painting. In the next year I would like to build this business by working to market it in the Northwoods.”
While art takes up a considerable amount of time, Jaron saves his mornings to enjoy life in the Northwoods. “I get up before the rest of my family and take a half-hour paddle in our canoe,” he explains. “Then we drop the kids off at school. I work until about 5:30 everyday. Sometimes I fill-in as a DJ at WXPR. Usually classical. We spend as much time outside as we can. In the winter I try to cross-country ski as often as I can. Last winter my wife and I would bring our skis in the car and stop at one of the trails between our son’s school and town to have a quick ski before work.”
As an artist, Jaron would like contribute to the arts culture in the community. “I want to do my part to help all the people who work so hard to bring arts and culture to the Northwoods as well as highlight what is being made here. I want to help create an environment that encourages other artists to move to the area.”