Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Expansion - Acrylic on 17" x 37" unstretched canvas, 2010

This new painting was created on unstretched canvas and I've worked all the way to the edge so that when it is stretched, the painting will wrap around the sides and the buyer won't need a frame (if he/she so chooses). I like this piece both horizontally and vertically and worked on it by flipping it back and forth.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Nude - Acrylic on 20" x 30" unstretched canvas, 2010

This piece and others like it (coming soon!) came about after getting frustrated with another painting that I took too far. I began to think about the various lives a painting lives before it becomes whatever it's destined to be. I wanted to see what would happen if I stopped as soon as I felt any instinct of yes, I like this. Usually I feel that cue many times in one painting but I keep pushing it. I've always loved how the white of the canvas interacts with color but so rarely stop in time for it to remain. This painting is quick, intuitive, improvisational and there is something that I think is very pure having this first impression captured in time.

New paintings

Splinted Sunlight - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2010

Escape - Acrylic, embroidery floss and acrylic medium on 8" x 10" canvas, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Art Books 1 : Facing Eden

The images above are from an art book that's been in my collection since 1997. The title of the book is Facing Eden: 100 Years of Landscape Art in the Bay Area and it's been in my collection since I bought it used at the main bookstore in downtown Santa Cruz (at the time) when I was studying abroad at UCSC . I've poured over this book so many times, always returning to the pages that include these select works as well as several of Diebenkorn's paintings that absolutely take my breath away every single time.

This picture of Diebenkorn's Seawall doesn't do it justice so see it here. This photograph, however, does represent the changing, supple, reactionary-to-the-elements nature of images in an art book. They become your own the more you live with them and return to the pages again and again. The oil of the fingertips turning the page, the residue of dank apartments and the wear of every place you've lived in the last X amount of years, the evidence of paint and of being an active inspiration... all of this adds to the energy of the book, which has now become a voice that is either perfectly present in a "one on one" mental crit or quietly beckoning and ready to offer A HECK OF A LOT at the drop of a hat on the bookshelf, without judgment. My collection of art books are quiet friends, they demand a lot of me, they will tell me without question that I've gone in the wrong direction or if something is not working, but they will never, ever judge.

The Healing Process

The Healing Process - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas panel, 2010

Curating your own Etsy shop

The new Etsy layout is garnering (surprise, surprise) both praise and outrage from the Etsy community. To each his/her own I suppose. I happen to like it a lot and it hasn't been that hard to get used to the adjustment (links on the left, shorter announcement space, etc.). I've been thinking about re-arranging my shop to be more curated, almost like creating a treasury only it's with my own items. You'll see in the pictures above, yesterday I had a black/red/white theme going on inspired by my poppy painting and then today I switched it up to be more soft and colorful like my most recent abstract painting. If you too are an Etsy seller, how do you like the changes? Has it changed anything about how you organize or promote your shop?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Modern flowers

These paintings hearken back to a style I was developing in the early 2000's. They are more decorative art than fine art, but with me, that's a line I am constantly crossing to the point of obliterating it. The second two are done in the style I was working with then, the first one, the poppies, is something I'm thinking I'd like to develop further in other paintings, maybe on a larger scale or as a triptych, and use the basic premise of this painting as a launch pad for different approaches, textures, design elements, etc. I go where the muse calls me, and right now she's saying, "Yes, go to the the poppies!". I will happily oblige. :)

Each piece is untitled and acrylic on 8" x 10" canvases. You can purchase them in my shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/jessicatorrant