Artist Chris Myott speaks on his art and growing up in Jaffrey at Amos Fortune

<br /> Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Artist Chris Myott speaks on his art and growing up in Jaffrey at Amos Fortune<br />
































Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 7/24/2023 10:12:50 AM

Artist Chris Myott spoke at the Amos Fortune Forum on Friday evening, telling the stories of the key figures in his life that have supported him, his artistic inspirations and process and why, as a professional artist, he continues to make art in his hometown of Jaffrey.

“I feel fortunate that I was able to grow up in a place like Jaffrey, that allowed me a safe place to explore my creativity and eventually establish a successful career in the arts as an adult,” Myott said. “I was lucky that I had a nurturing community and a string of good luck that combined to allow me to exist as I do.”

Myott grew up in Jaffrey with five sisters and a brother, in a small house with only two bedrooms. One of his earliest artistic inspirations was his father, as Myott remembered the first time he can recall art impacting him was while exchanging letters with his father, who was in prison at the time. His father would often send him drawings, which Myott would try to reproduce and send back to him.

Myott fell in love with art early, and had cemented himself as the “art kid” by middle school, he recalled, and though his family had little money, he received support from the community around him, including teachers that encouraged his art.

Myott’s art has gone through several stages, including a stint in furniture-making, but these days, he mainly works with oil painting. He uses a technique where he applies the paint with a palette knife, draws through the wet paint, allows it to dry and then continues adding layers before finally sealing the painting in wax, a technique that stems from his time making furniture.

The things around him inspire him, and he often develops works in series. He has done paintings of rat traps – inspired by his ongoing battle with rats in his chicken coop – fireworks, a nod to Jaffrey’s festival of fireworks and inspired by Japanese fireworks brochures; plants, which his home is full of thanks to his wife; and motorcycles.

Myott said he both has a tendency to always think his art could be a bit better and to not over-polish his work.

“I wasn’t interesting in polishing away what makes it uniquely mine,” Myott said. In fact, he said, his work really took off when he started to lean into portraying the things that caught his interest, saying it seemed to resonate with people more.

The next Amos Fortune Forum will be a talk by Joan Brooks Baker, speaking on “Through the Lens of my Camera: The Essence of Woman.” The talk is free and held at the Jaffrey Meetinghouse on Friday at 8 p.m. Donations are accepted.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.




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