Thursday, September 17, 2015

Creative Style: Jessica Swift

Today's creative style post is from Jessica Swift, another great Jennifer Nelson Artist.
I first met Jessica when I took her Pattern Camp class. It was so helpful for me to learn
how to put my art into repeat using photoshop (for me) and illustrator for many others.
She was so warm, giving and easy to work with and learn from. I do highly recommend
her class! The journey below is about her painting style, maybe we will do one with pattern
at a future time!

How did you arrive at the style you are working in currently?

Over the years, I've followed my intuition on styles, colors, and subject matter that 
interests me. I tend to get bored by doing the same thing over and over, so I'm always 
sticking new techniques and bits into my work, depending on what's catching my attention. 

Monoprints made with oil paint with pastel details

Color is, I think, the thread that I've carried through all the different phases of my work
over the years, so even though I've moved through several styles, I think my color sense
is unique and shines through each different era.

I tend to alternate between styles that are a bit looser (my early monoprinting days) and then
tightening my style up a bit (the botanical/geometric piece and the painting of the couple 
holding hands, from my middle-ish period), this works well for me--

My style evolves and fluctuates depending on what I need to receive from my work.
More structure, more fluidity or looseness, whatever. I feel like I'm in a sort of combo
period right now--my paintings feel to me both loose and structured, the two opposing
ways of working layered right on top of each other, chaos and structure all at once.
That's sort of how my life feels these days, so the style seems fitting! I find that my style
always sort of reflects where I am in my life and the the things I think about and am 
interested in-- I find it fascinating (and sometimes painful, haha!) to look back on my 
older work, because it's almost like looking at photos of my younger self. I'm sure my 
style will continue to morph and evolve over the years--
thats the fun part of being an artist, I think!!

2. Are there any other styles or techniques you are playing and experimenting 
with now that you think will incorporate into your work?

I am expecting a baby in a few weeks and I'm creating some new art to hang in 
his room. I've unexpectedly stumbled on a bit of a new for me style of kid art that 
I'm pretty obsessed with creating!

New Kids Series
I'm painting a series of animals and I just don't want to stop--
I can definitely see myself incorporating this new style and subject matter into my work,
and perhaps even creating a range of new products from it. So that feels exciting!

I've also been experimenting with gouache paint these past few months and creating repeat
patterns from the painted shapes. That has been really fun as well. I typically paint on 
wood or canvas with acrylic paint so using this more watery type of paint on paper is quite
a shift for me. I have really been enjoying it!

I'm trying to figure out how to make the medium my own which I think will just
take a lot of painting and experimenting. We'll see if it ends up being a permanent tool in my
toolbox! I'm enjoying playing with it for now and I've created some pieces that I really like.

Patterns made from gouache paintings.

You can see more of Jessica's work here.

Thank you so much Jess!

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