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Jeff Kraus | Studio Visit

Detroit, MI

May 2014



Where are you from and where do you live now?

I was born in Kalamazoo, MI and raised in a small town outside of Kalamazoo called Vicksburg.  I lived in Traverse City for my teens and early 20's then moved to Grand Rapids in 2007 and have been here ever since.  There is something about Michigan that can't be beat.

Did you have breakfast today?

I try and eat breakfast every morning, It usually consists of  a glass or two of orange juice, and a bowl of yogurt and chocolate raspberry granola.

Which is your favorite quote?

This is one of my favorites from artist Cy Twombly. " I sit for two or three hours and then in 15 minutes I can do a painting, but that's part of it. You have to get ready and decide to jump up and do it; you build yourself up psychologically, and so painting has no time for brush. Brush is boring, you give it and all of a sudden it's dry, you have to go. Before you cut the thought, you know?"

What kind of paint are you using these days? 

I pretty much work exclusively in water based house paint, I like the idea of using little to no chemicals in my studio practice, the paint is super cheap and it dries really fast!

When do you make your best work?

I think I make my best work when I am least expecting it.

What is your favorite instrument?

The Drums! I have been playing them for going on 14 years.  Playing the drums is like painting for me, they are both so freeing and  primal.  You get to make your own rules

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Butter Pecan

What is the one thing you wouldn't eat?

I can't stand onions in any form. I hate them!

What do you love most about being on the road?

I love the constant change in environment, the chance to meet new people and see new things.  I take in the new experiences and pour them into my paintings.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The thrill of a new day, a new adventure to be had. I say to myself, maybe today I will make a better painting than yesterday.

Who are some of favorite artists?

Cy Twombly, Chris Burden, Joseph Beuys, Franz Kline, Bruce Nauman, Leonard Baskin, Robert Motherwell...