Fred Tierney, the vet who has cared for all my Pugs, was examining one of them when I noticed a print on his wall.
What was the story behind this marvelous surrealistic depiction of cats surrounding an enormous polar bear-shaped fish tank overlooking New York Harbor on a moonlit night? Who had created it?
Fred explained that it was the work of Jeff Brooks, the brother of a friend and neighbor of his. I decided right away that I wanted to know this painter and to see more of his work.
And I did.
Over the years, I hired Jeff for particular commissions, used his work to illustrate articles in the Social Register Observer, and gifted friends with special works conceived of particularly for them. I’ve never been disappointed.
Jeffrey Brooks was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1960. He has lived in many places around the country but Massachusetts has been his home for the greatest part of his life. Although he has had some art training, Jeff is largely self-taught. His natural talent, wonderful sense of fantasy, and love of animals have kept him in good stead.
Jeff’s favorite painter is Claude Monet and Madame Monet and Her Son (1875) is his favorite painting. He prefers to work in colored pencils “because of the incredible detail that you can achieve with them,” but the work I’m familiar with has all been done in acrylics.
I asked Jeff why the moon has such a prominent role in so many of his paintings.
“I paint the moon because one summer night in 1992 I saw it over the ocean at South Beach on Martha’s Vineyard and have never forgotten that particular vision.”
It seems to me that he deserves thanks for sharing it.
Click an illustration for an enlargement.