Tag Archives: colorado

Mark Your Calendar for First Friday in September!

Pieces by Jessica Forrestal

First Friday Reception September 6th, 2013

6-9pm

Anthology Fine Art

635 Santa Fe Drive

Denver, Colorado

Pieces 24

Pieces 24

Pieces 25

Pieces 25

Pieces 26

Pieces 26

Pieces 27

Pieces 27

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What’s in a Backbone?

The drawings of the spinal column in these paintings have numerous meanings from literal to metaphorical. In a literal sense, the viewer is peering into a torn open cavity revealing the inner workings of the skeletal structure. But, the backbone can be used metaphorically in a multitude of ways.

Rather than providing my metaphorical reasoning, I am interested in how others view and interpret these paintings. So today’s blog post is interactive! Click the “Leave a reply” button above this post to write about your response to Pieces. As I have said before, the appeal of abstract art is discovering one’s personal connection and interpretation of the work. I look forward to reading responses and learning from them. Remember, there is no right or wrong interpretation.

Pieces 8

Pieces 8

Pieces 9

Pieces 9

The Anatomy of Pieces

Pieces 6

Pieces 6

Pieces 6 is one of my favorites in the series. I approached the drawings of the spine in two different ways. Some of the paintings have an unfinished drawing where the negative space is shaded in order to enhance the simple outline of the spine. Other drawings are fully shaded which makes them look complete. This concept refers our story that has yet to be written. Our lives are constantly changing and we cannot always predict an outcome. I like that Pieces 6 has both the negative space and fully shaded drawings together one 9″ x 10″ piece: it is the only one like it in the series. Each graphite drawing took from 45 minutes to an hour to complete, so one can imagine the number of hours crouched over these paintings.

Pieces 7

Pieces 7

I Will Be a Master!

This summer I had the most fantastic time beginning my master’s degree program. I am working towards a Masters in Art and Design from the University of Northern Colorado. I am in the low residency program which allows me to take my studio courses during the summer at the university and online courses during fall and spring while I am teaching. My program technically did not start until this month, but I wanted to get a jump on things. I took two courses which monopolized most of my summer, but I enjoyed every minute. I enrolled in a two-week watercolor course from 9-12am and in the afternoons I attended a multi-media class from 1-5pm for four weeks. I was creating art 12-14 hours a day for four weeks. My husband missed me a little bit, but the time spent was well worth it!

Prior to taking a watercolor class, I felt slightly deficient. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I am capable of watercolor painting. The two-week course was beneficial in learning multiple techniques of dry on dry, wet on dry, dry on wet, and wet on wet. The majority of the time was spent working from still life set-ups which I found very helpful when learning the new techniques. My favorite style was the wet on dry. I gravitated toward this style because the “control freak” in me could be unleashed. Painting in the wet on dry style is time-consuming requiring many layered washes of paint. In-between each layer, the paint and paper must fully dry before the next wash is applied. This style has a tight, controlled look. I showed my work to friends and family and many responded,” Wow, that’s watercolor?” Below you will find some images of my watercolor paintings.

I found myself attracted to stacks of objects. I painted Stacks #1 one of the first few days of class. Stacks #2 and Stacks #3 were homework assignments during the course. I completed those two paintings using my grandma’s Fiestaware as inspiration. Stacks #3 was the final homework assignment which allowed us more creative freedom. I repeated the image of the stacks to mimic the repetition within the stacks themselves. Prior to painting the images, I created a textured layer by placing plastic wrap over a wash of paint and then allowing it to dry.

I will dive into my work created in the multi-media course in the next post–so stay tuned!

Stacks #1

Stacks #2

Stacks #3

2011: A Year in Review

For some reason, I have been procrastinating when it comes to reflecting upon my past year as an artist. This morning when I opened a blank document to write, I found myself staring blankly. So I checked my Facebook, paid some bills, responded to comments on my blog, hoping for inspiration.  I pulled up the blank page again, but still I had nothing. Images of the past year rolled through my head, but finding the right words to bring those memories to life seemed difficult. Finally, it hit me. I needed to be honest in this reflection. I only wanted to write something that was upbeat and inspiring. But 2011 presented some challenges that sometimes left me disappointed with my artistic progress. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would post all of my paintings regardless of whether I deemed them good or bad. So this reflection should be no different. I had successes and set-backs in 2011 and to provide an honest reflection I needed to address both. So here we go!

I lined up four solo exhibitions in 2011. I wanted to get my work out to the public as frequently as possible in an effort to make connections with artists and community members. I spaced my shows out over the course of the year. I had a show the month during of January, April, October, and my final show ran from November through December.  Sales in 2011 were good! I sold twenty-two paintings this past year which is a major accomplishment. By lining up so many solo shows, however, I found my creativity was negatively impacted. I became focused upon creating paintings that would fit in a certain series so it would look polished when on display. I also worried more intensely about making artwork that would sell. As a working artist, both of these concerns are valid and I am thankful that I took them into account in order to provide professional high-quality shows. I believe my sales benefited greatly by confronting these concerns. But, the conflict arises when I fear that I have started to lose that spark to create something new.  I love experimentation, trying new things and learning from failures. This past year left me with little time to play, discover, or fail and try again. So I have decided that I will plan fewer shows in 2012 in order to get back to the root of why I began this journey in the first place. I have a few new ideas bouncing around and I am itching to get back into the studio without the pressure to perform. I am planning a solo show in May which gives me several uninterrupted months of doing and trying anything that my heart desires.

There were some major life events in 2011. My full-time career as a high school art teacher was impacted. My income has been frozen for the last three years and in 2011 the teachers at my high school had to take on a larger class load to account for the terrible loss of funding. While I am very grateful for my continued employment, the larger class load has meant less time for planning, grading, parent communication, and less time for rest. With a lower energy level, some days it was just too hard to drag myself to the studio. My husband and I bought our first home as well. I packed my studio in June and did not unpack it until late July once the new studio space was finished. So there were several months that passed without painting. The studio is now a usable space and I love it!  Also, my dad was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in 2011. From August through December I used all my three or four-day weekends, and holiday breaks to be with my family and I would not have changed that for the world. I was also able to work out a deal with the gallery where I showed my work in November so that I could donate a portion of my artwork sales towards cancer organizations. While it has been an extremely tough journey, his diagnosis has redirected my efforts towards what I truly value most.

So onward to the goals of 2012!  I want to CREATE! I want to love what I do and share it with the world. I want to continue to persevere through whatever life throws my way. I often think of how my dad introduces me to new people and I smile every time. “Have you met my daughter?  She is a famous artist!” 🙂 While I may not really be famous; I hope that as long as I follow my passion, my work will continue grow and touch wider audiences.

Solo Exhibition Runs November 4th – December 23rd 2011

Please save the date for the following events at Anthology Fine Art in Denver.  My solo exhibition runs for two months.

Third Friday Artwalk: Friday, November 18 from 6-8pm

First Friday Artwalk: Friday, December 2nd from 6-10pm

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