Cape Cod Art Preservation Society
INTERVIEW

Jeffrey Dale Starr and 'The Colonists'

Oil painter Jeffrey Dale Starr is renowned for his portrayals of modern life that walk the line between Impressionism and Realism.

Although the Cape Cod resident is most widely known for his landscapes and paintings of birds, we sat down with him to discuss his latest project that takes the artist in an exciting new direction.

Jeffrey Dale Starr and 'The Colonists'
CCAPS
So what made you want to do this series about people living in colonial America?
Jeffrey Dale Starr
To be honest, the clothes! (laughs) I’ve been wanting to do a collection of paintings that feature everyday people in New England. But I find modern clothing to be extremely boring. With The Colonists, even the average person is wearing something interesting.
CCAPS
I know you spent the majority of your adult life in San Francisco. Do you think that gives you a different perspective on this area?
Jeffrey Dale Starr
Yeah, I think it does. I actually followed the same route as the poet Robert Frost…from San Francisco to Massachusetts. What I noticed when I first moved to The Cape was the same thing that happened when I first moved to San Francisco from Dallas: people who were born and raised in the area sometimes didn’t notice the little quirks that an outsider would.
CCAPS
Such as?
Jeffrey Dale Starr
The quiet calm of The Cape. When you come from living downtown in a bustling city, you get accustomed to the white noise and constant commotion. When I first moved to West Barnstable, I was amazed at the complete tranquility (especially off-season.) Years later I’m still in love with serenity of it all. Sometimes I feel like John Muir all alone in Yosemite.
CCAPS
Anything else strike you about Cape Cod?
Jeffrey Dale Starr
The history. The incredible history of this area. I have some friends that live in Plymouth and we did a tour of one of the oldest cemeteries in the country. Just the names and what the area represents not only to American history but, as it turned out, to modern civilization itself. I’m a history buff and this is a great place to quench that thirst.
CCAPS
What can we expect from The Colonists?
Jeffrey Dale Starr
I’ve already finished one entitled Colonial Couple (ed. - the image attached to this interview). At first it was going to be a one-off painting, but I really loved the look and feel of it. So I decided to expand it and turn it into a series. There are five more in the works that range from an everyday Printer to a quite fancy Gentleman and a few more in-between.
CCAPS
When will the public be able to view the whole set?
Jeffrey Dale Starr
I’m shooting for some time in the spring.
CCAPS
Be sure to let us know where and when.
Jeffrey Dale Starr
I certainly will.