Realize that you create the life you live, and it can be as vibrant, dynamic, and colorful as you can dream. For me, that sense of freedom and creativity is embodied in dance and dancers. Their bodies create dialogues, and occupy space and time so gracefully and deliberately, yet the feeling exists that each moment is full of striking new potential.
Martha Graham once said “Dance is the hidden language of the soul”. I strive, in my artwork, to articulate and reveal that hidden language through color, shape, and line.
Don’t miss a Moment: facebook.com/jessagilbertstudios
Creation in Motion
This month marks One Year in Vancouver, and One Year since the completion of the original #BetweenThePointsProject. This art project investigated how travel would affect the creative process, where I created a body of over 60 artworks during my drive from Burlington, Vermont toVancouver, British Columbia. This was my first time driving across the country, and first time doing such a long voyage by myself. I learned so much about the richness of the cultures between the points, the vibrancy of the variations in landscape, and how to deal with changes in allergens, temperature, and local cuisine.
This summer I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to bring the journey full circle, so to speak, by driving back from Vancouver to New York with my good friend Jenna and our two dogs. This continuation of Between the Points, called #WhereWeWereWhenWeWere, dealt with similar issues of how to sustain creativity while on the move, and thinking about our interactions with landscape and culture.
The artworks created during these projects can be viewed at:www.jessagilbert.com
Don’t miss a Moment: facebook.com/jessagilbert.com
Practice and Maintenance
Along with a need to physically rebuild, the necessity of mental stability and finding a sense of calm has been at the forefront in and out of the studio the past few years. Yoga offered me an outlet and opportunity to work towards that balance. Slowing down, focusing on the breath, and taking the long road towards flexibility, strength, and nirvana.
While I understand the issues associated with the morals of the man, Bikram, the practice is one I owe much of my recovery to. The repeated sequences help me to see progress, no matter how slight, the heat allows my muscles to relax more quickly, and the sweat that pours out allowing my body to detox (spoiler alert: girls don’t glisten, they sweat). Steadily I work towards grace and ease in the movements, rhythm in the breath, and quiet in the mind. Exploring the physicality of that practice in an art form allowed me an opportunity to explore the possibility of form, abstraction, and depictions of the passing of time.
. Keeping a Rhythm .
Just over a year ago I underwent a knee replacement that I have been spending the last year strengthening and rebuilding. The bicycle was, and has been, instrumental in the process - a vehicle of liberation for many. I am thankful for the bicycle and all it gives us - transportation, exercise, entertainment, and most importantly…FREEDOM.
For a long time I have felt my life split between two passions - Fine Art and the Outdoors. Physical activity and recreation are major parts of my life, and I use painting as a medium to represent and articulate that lifestyle. Much of the current artworks coming out of Jessa Gilbert Studios have so much to do movement - how we physically move our bodies, through the spaces we live in, and the environment around us.
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Happy BC Day!
It has been an inspiring year on the west coast. So thankful to wake up to such a colorful, vivid landscape each day. This week is all about reflections: 1 year in #Vancouver, living by the ocean and exploring the mountains.
Cheers to you, British Columbia!
Acrylic on Canvas - 30” x 48” - 2014 - Jessa Gilbert Studios
Inspiration and Reflections behind the Painting:
I grew up in the Hudson River Valley in New York, surrounded by hills, mountains, rich greens, and no waves. While the ocean has always been a source for inspiration and reflection, it has also consistently been a source of fear. The richness of the communities of life underneath the waves, the force of currents and water to take you under and away from your safety on land, and my discomfort in my own ability to swim and float has kept me on the beach for some time. This past year has been the first time I have lived by the ocean, and the first opportunity to become more at ease with its tendencies.
Ralph Emerson is quoted saying “Always do what you are afraid to do.”, which is something that has been on my mind for some time now. This painting, and the series of works to follow, are about me facing my fears and spending time with the ocean in a way to explore the inspiration that comes from it, and the fear. The artwork explores the motion and action that occurs on, within, and around the water through the use of color, shape, and line. These paintings, to me, behave somewhat like love stories - there is struggle, admiration, a longing for, a sense of intimacy, fear, and compassion.
I look forward to sharing with you these developments…
- Jessa Gilbert