PHOTO BY MR. SAILING JIN

Jay Wilson paints under the pen-name O.M. Norling, a moniker borrowed from his great-great grandfather.

Jay was born in 1971. He’s the youngest of three brothers and son to a career army father and mother who put up with it all. Growing up Jay found himself frequently adjusting to new surroundings. Six formative years of living and attending school in Germany and South Korea exposed Jay to European and Asian cultures. This mixture of influences and experiences is apparent in his works. Jay lives in Decatur, Georgia with his wife Amy and their three boys in a small house under a big tree.

ARTIST STATEMENT

In 1843, a young man disappeared without a trace from a modest family farm in Sweden. Seven years later, his mother received a letter postmarked from America. It was from her son, O.M. Norling. He explained that a compulsion to experience this new land had driven him to leave behind all that he knew.

The young man is my great-great grandfather. To put so much on the line to obey a compulsion… the audacity of this story was unnerving to me as a younger man. But now, with more years behind me, the sheer volume of life force it represents captivates and motivates me as an artist. For over a decade, I’ve signed my paintings, O.M. Norling.

With pencil, brush and oil paint, I construct eccentric compositions made up of animals, objects and furniture that all echo another time. They are beautiful, dark and humorous stories about the human experience.