Our Artists: Jennifer Esser
April 15th to May 22nd
Formally educated as a landscape architect, and self-taught as an artist, my earliest paintings were traditional or impressionistic landscapes. Having painted for thirty years now, my work has evolved to evoke the landscape in a more abstract way. Sometimes I feel the abstraction will continue to grow and the landscape will recede more into the background; however, embracing paradox, often I find myself wanting to paint a beautiful garden, so I do just that.
Employing a distinct abstract language, my most recent paintings feature highly animated brushstrokes, lines, arcs, and geometrical patterns densely overlaid and clustered together to create dramatic and forceful compositions. They are layers of time and stories, the real and surreal, energy repressed and released as I play with complementary and analogous color and texture, all while building upon the form beneath. I think art parallels life, so as I reflect on personal experience and absorb world events, I paint it as visual metaphor and mental construct. There’s a strong underlying theme of structure, or seeking shelter (or beauty) from the chaos surrounding us. In my latest work, I’m painting something I’ve never seen before, creating beauty within conflict, and conflict within beauty – seeing a different world. My paintings are energetic and expressive explorations, often evocative of nature but not necessarily representative of it. Ultimately, painting takes discipline and practice so I try to paint more, and think less. Often there are no words; fortunately there is always art.