Jay Mason (born: September 1975) grew up in the small town of Osceola, Indiana. A town small enough to know that if you were at the one and only stop light in town, you would be looking at the local Park n' Shop, Kelver’s Garage, and Mason Printing. The apartment above Mason Printing is where Jay spent his formative years inspired by his grandfather’s illustrations, as well as his aunt’s paintings and crafts. At 10 years old, he began his first job in the family owned print shop: sweeping floors. At 14, he learned to use the complex and dangerous machinery within the shop. This experience formed the foundation of his artistic endeavors, as he understood the creative possibilities of organizing visual information.
This resonated with Jay and brought forth a love for doodling and drawing at a very young age. In 1984, Jay’s mother and father noticed this and enrolled him in summer art classes. This is where he learned the fundamentals of painting, drawing, and sculpting. Through Jay’s high school years at Penn H.S., he shifted his focus towards architectural design having a house built, and then moving on to college at the Milwaukee School of Engineering to study architectural engineering. Jay quickly realized that the field he had chosen was not satisfying his creative needs and moved back home, realizing he wanted to change his focus. Jay decided that he needed a change of scenery from the Midwest lifestyle and moved to Seattle, Washington in 1996. Seattle made him feel right at home as Jay began to work in acrylics and oils on canvas. In early 1997 some of Jay's work was getting noticed as he had his first shows at variety of venues around town.
In 1999, Jay traveled to Europe. Where he studied independently for 9 months, spending his days sketching, painting, and studying the works of the masters. Living in Amsterdam, Jay traveled through Europe whenever he could visitingcities such as Paris, London, and Prague. He saw as many master works as he could, studying different techniques and learning how to apply them to his own paintings. When he returned from Europe, Jay enrolled in painting and drawing classes at the Seattle Central Community College turning his attention back to the fundamentals of creating works and learning the basics of his materials. In early 2001, Jay dropped out of school and moved into his art studio in downtown Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood amercing himself into the arts community. The 619 Western Building in Seattle, was the largest work only artist loft on the west coast and was a popular stop for art enthusiasts during the 1st Thursday Art Walk in Seattle's Historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. The 4 years Jay spent working in the 619 building were some the most prolific of his early emerging career. Creating 100's of paintings as well as beginning to curate and administer different events at the building to get the community more involved in the arts.
From solo, group and collaborative showings to private and community benefit commissions, Jay finds himself constantly creating. Jay's use of color is inventive and intense, and his paint strokes are bold; almost native in their expression of emotion. His eye is precise, and he focuses on his subjects in an almost calculated manner. As a result, he captures a sentiment in them that translates who, what or where they are in a single canvas. Jay is an American Artist who devotes his time to perfecting his craft as a painter by spending as much time as possible in his downtown studio in Pioneer Square. He frequently collaborates with the greater Seattle Arts community and the vibrant Seattle Art scene.