Order and Chaos

Categories: 2021 March-April Issue, Landscape, Oil, and Scheifflee, Brett.

If you want to know about Brett Scheifflee’s artistic philosophy, talk to him about tennis. “If you are trying to control everything too much, you’ll never get your best form,” says Scheifflee, who’s been working to improve his tennis game for just about as long as he’s been painting professionally. “That’s something I can reference with painting. If you hang onto it too tight, it’s never going to be perfect. The only way to achieve perfection—or something close to it—is to let go. Stop trying. Open yourself up and be free, and somewhere in there you’re going to find the place where it all works again.”

It’s a concise encapsulation of Scheifflee’s approach to art, which he describes as walking the knife-edge between order and chaos. “If you’re so locked in trying to achieve one thing, you’re going to spend all day fussing over a portion of it and never getting anywhere,” he says. “At some point, you just have to step back mentally and let something else—a creative spirit or instinct or something—take over. You can get some amazing results if you’re always on the edge of that letting go.”

Read the full article in the May/June 2021 issue.

The Way Life Should Be

32” by 22”

“This title is one of the phrases the State of Maine uses to describe itself and, like any place that is cold all winter long, in the summer months it could not be more correct. In this painting, I was just trying to showcase one of those idyllic warm and long days that make all of the others worth getting through.”

California Dreaming

20” by 20”

“Since I have not spent much time in California and do not know it in any detailed way, I am fully free to romanticize it. In this painting I just wanted to freeze a moment in time, an image that I thought those who ‘pulled stakes’ and packed their cars for the Pacific might have also mentally conjured. The original oil painting is very smooth and glassy, and because of that the ocean water seems extra seductive.”