Local artist Jeffrey Todd Moore is no stranger to the Sussex County art scene, despite being one of the freshest faces in the mix. With strong roots in lower Delaware and a career that spans the country, Moore has stepped into the milieu with ferocity, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that draw from inspiration along the First State’s coast and the surrounding area.
This month, Moore’s digital photography and watercolor paintings are featured at the Millsboro Art League in an artist gallery titled “Millsboro Pond and Beyond,” which parallels his journey as an artist, both within and outside of lower Delaware.
“I really enjoy the artistic aspect of digital photography,” said Moore, who made his living as a computer drafter. “It was a great little segue into local art. My drafting background comes into play, and it helps with the imagery.”
His painting career is still fresh, having started less than five years ago, but already his work is turning heads, and he has joined the Bethany Beach Watercolor Society, the Millsboro Art League and the Rehoboth Art League. Recently, he was accepted as one of the newest members of the SouthEastern Delaware Artist Studio Tour (SEDAST), as well.
Moore’s photography is truly unique, casting a weathered, abstract look on an otherwise natural and lifelike image.
“It all starts with a photograph I take,” he explained. “I bring it back to the studio and use a computer program to create textures for the final product. I don’t go in and draw or paint over top of it, like some artists, but rather, use the photograph itself in layers to help emphasize or alter the colors and pop certain aspects of the final work.”
In addition to his currently featured works at the Millsboro Art League, Moore’s art can be found at the Biggs Museum, the Rehoboth Art League and the Artful Bean in Bethany Beach. He will also be featured in the St. Peters Art Show in Lewes and at the Rehoboth Art League’s Annual Outdoor Festival, as well.
His show, “Millsboro Pond and Beyond,” draws from inspiration throughout the eastern Sussex County region.
“My very first attempt at painting was of the Millsboro pond,” he recalled, “and that just furthered myself as an artist. This show is about showing where it all started, but also getting away from that, too. I’ve developed a lot as an artist over the past few years. It encompasses everything I do.”
The visual art has been a slightly different accent from the performance art he studied and practiced in California for six years – primarily theater and dance. He co-founded the Los Angeles-based Beggarman, Theif performance art group.
“That was a great experience,” he said, “but my inspiration now, usually comes from nature, itself. I’m so inspired by color. Fall tends to be a prominent theme in my landscape work. A lot of the pieces are colorful and rich.”
Despite being new to the local scene compared to many of his peers, Moore has not let it hinder his experimentation on the canvas or behind the lens.
“I’m a relatively new painter,” he reiterated, “but I’m trying to push myself. I’ve learned most of what I do on my own. What I paint just comes from what I see in the world.” From the Dagsboro community he grew up in to the surrounding Assawoman Wildlife Refuge, the locale has inspired Moore’s work.
Moore has held art demos through the Millsboro Art League, and will hold one at the Bethany Beach Watercolor Society on Friday, June 24. “Millsboro Pond and Beyond” will be featured through the remainder of the month at the Millsboro Art League, located at 203 Main Street in Millsboro.
The Millsboro Art Gallery is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Sundays from noon until 3 p.m. In addition, the gallery is always open when classes and workshops are in session. Check out www.millsboroartleague.com for more information, including details about their upcoming workshop, Mixed Media Mania, scheduled for June 29 and 30. For more information and works by Jeffrey Todd Moore, visit www.jeffreytoddmoore.com.