The Artists' Gallery

Jay Kennedy

Artist’s Statement

Jay Kennedy

(425) 268-7131


jay kennedy

jay kennedy

jay-kennedy-torso#5, 24x30, $5500

jay-kennedy-torso#5, 24×30, $5500

jay kennedy, back deck on the bering sea, acrylic,36x42, $6000

jay kennedy, back deck on the bering sea, acrylic,36×42, $6000

jay kennedy,the paisley ottoman, acrylic, $5000jay kennedy,the paisley ottoman, acrylic, $5000


To me, art is an endless adventure of the mind, the eye and the soul. Artists choose to communicate visually in unique ways that the writer, the musician and the architect cannot. The language of art is both simple and incredibly complex and imposes no rules that can’t be broken but must be learned. The secret is to communicate directly with the viewer the complicated twists of the eye, the mind and the ego the important stories and subtle secrets of the world around him and the human being within him, truthfully. The San Francisco Chronical once reviewed my paintings by calling them “intelligent gems where every facet should be examined from close and afar.”   I am most satisfied when I hear a viewer say two things: one, “I have never seen anything like that” and two, “I think I understand”. Sometimes the message is most like a novel or a concert. Sometimes it’s more like a short story or a poem. When most successful it is more like Haiku.


I was initially influenced and studied under great artists such as Rico Labrun, Nat Fast, Paul Winslow and others including Guy Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg and Lucian Freud. Ultimately however, you have to tell your own stories and I have been telling them without stop for more than fifty years. Thankfully the well is not empty but fills all by itself. It’s the power of art.


I was born in Florida and my father died from a self-inflicted gunshot when I was four years old after losing to cancer. My mother was a brilliant and brave woman and teacher; the first female principal of a school in the state of Florida. When I was seven she moved us to a small ranching community in the mountains of Colorado where I grew up on ranches and horses and explored the national forests located just outside our home. When I was fifteen we moved to coastal California where I learned to surf, chase girls and to ensure a high quality education going forward. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, one of the most difficult party schools in America. After graduation with a degree in Art I was married and had begun graduate school with the goal of teaching art at the college level. However, my draft board had other ideas during the Vietnam era. To avoid the draft I joined the Air Force and was trained as a Pilot, serving as a fighter pilot, instructor pilot, flight examiner and flight test officer, serving all over the world. After the war ended I decided the military was not for me any longer and I left to pursue my career in business in both the public and private sector. With children to support I remained serious about a successful career but I continued to also be serious about my art and remained fortunate with interested national and international patrons. My last fifteen years were spent as a senior manager with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration working mainly in Alaska. A great career ended in retirement in October, 2015. With the extra time I have been able to focus exclusively on my art, showing new work consistently at the Artist’s Gallery in Olympia, WA. I love being able to work every day.


I am so proud of my beautiful and patient wife, my three children and two stepchildren and five grandchildren. Even though life is short and you only can do it once, once is enough with family, friends and art.

jay kennedy,aurora over mt susitna, acrylic,36x48, $5000

jay kennedy,aurora over mt susitna, acrylic,36×48, $5000