Art & Beauty: Jessica Torrant

Jessica Torrant is a colorist: her medium may be paint, but her language is color. She embodies that famous quote by Paul Klee:

“Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter.

Oh, and she is the closest thing I have to an artist soul sister, both of us collectively birthed by Joan Mitchell, Arshile Gorky, Willem DeKooning, and Helen Frankenthaler. (Among others, of course.)

In her own words, Jessica says, "I look at making art as therapy— and what's the point of therapy if you aren't honest? I think beauty in art is honesty in art, with at least a sprinkling of hope.  Even if that hope is, 'I'm still here, even through all of this ugliness, and I'm not going anywhere even if I'm completely broken.' "

Her intricate color harmonies and layers of interacting organic form create an emotional complexity in each work. These are the kinds of works you have to sit with. And that color... yum.

Jessica lives in rural Northern Connecticut with her husband. She studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where her mutual obsession with abstraction began. Her work is collected worldwide, and she exhibits throughout the US and London.  To experience more of Jessica's beautiful work, check out her Etsy shop and her website.

Transcendence

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Art & Beauty: Skyler McGee

McGee_3Skyler McGee: Balancing Nature and Space

I have followed Skyler McGee’s work since she was a student of mine at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since then, her work has evolved into careful, poetic considerations of nature, space, and color.

Inspired by the natural world, Skyler works in fresh, delicate layers. She plays with combinations of materials– hard and soft, light and heavy, from oil paint to printmaking to watercolor. She emphasizes the artist’s hand or presence- nothing feels machine-made, but rather as if it was somehow uncovered in a forgotten studio from long ago, or excavated from an anthropological dig. She works carefully, slowly, her color sense reflecting the natural elements that inspire her work.

Currently living in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and two little girls, Skyler’s work reflects her daily life as well, as she balances her life as an artist, mom and wife. You can see more of her work at charcoalandsaffron.wordpress.com.

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The Creative Place

Image "Creative artists ... are mankind's wakeners to recollection: summoners of our outward mind to conscious contact with ourselves, not as participants in this or that morsel of history, but as spirit, in the consciousness of being. Their task, therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that an actual shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one center of consciousness to another."

Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God, Volume IV: Creative Mythology

What is art if not to awaken us? To make things seen that we do not see, to bring light onto subjects we would pass by. Art says, "Look. Hear. Feel. Experience." – and then some.

Art creates a place where we are present.