For a while now I have wanted to see Jessica Zoob's art, so I arranged to pop and see her as she was preparing for Open Studios.
What was to meet me was both surprising and overpowering, proving that art needs to be seen up close and personal.
Taking photos of beautiful art is a strange concept, I get very annoyed that sometimes tv shows crop a piece when the artist has put all their skill into creating a whole within the shape of the canvas. Seeing work on a flat screen, with a monitor which isn't doing the colours justice isn't a good representation of the work either. So here I am trying to convey the scale and mood of Jessica's work and include some of my emotions at seeing it for the first time.
|Jessica with some of her large pieces|
Set on a rural estate of industrial units, the studio itself is also quite a surprise. Very large and open, bright and airy, and tucked in a corner where Jessica has created a cute outside space with a mini garden and pond. Like many great artists, I can see that this lady could create some very interesting landscapes and green spaces herself. The views are framed by the windows, like paintings in themselves and as soon as you step inside you realise why this lady isn't working in a small shed at the bottom of the garden.
Many of Jessica's works are designed as tryptichs and she has even worked on circular pieces. One thing is obvious, this woman is a workaholic with no boundaries to her imagination, she is a free spirit who puts every ounce of her personal experience and emotion into each piece.
Every painting spoke to me very clearly, I'm not one to babble on about art, it should be a personal connection to the viewer, but I would say that for me the feelings conveyed were very clear. With much of the work exuding an oriental feel, I found that the artist's travels had indeed been integral. The layers created are like the layers of life, with mixed emotions manifesting as an iridescent oil like glimmer on the surface, swirling on top of the more solid textures. This is possibly what appeals to me the most in these works, with my love of Monet's waterlily paintings, the impressionists in France and the style of Japan are all felt here.
When I worked in the music business I often did not want to meet the musicians who created my most favourite albums. The reason - if they aren't very nice you feel cheated for devoting so much time to falling in love with every lyric and note. The reverse can also be true, sometimes someone is so charismatic that you find that you suddenly 'get' them, which previously you hadn't. This happened for me on many occasions, particularly with Nick Cave, Wayne Hussey and Barry Adamson. I won't list the disappointing encounters but I did heed the warning from a friend, who after meeting a certain frontman from Led Zep told me 'never meet your idols'.
This adage can also be true for artists who work on canvas. I really believe that if you are investing in a beautiful piece then it is important to meet the creator in person and feel like you have a deeper understanding of what went into the piece. These works are like his or her children and the artist also needs to know that their babies are going to a good home.
Jessica explained to me how her work is moving on into a different area, more explosive and abstract in form. The works are influenced more and more by emotions than previously (which Jessica describes as 'being in the wilderness). I find that women find it impossible to detach their feelings from their everyday, they carry them around and eventually it manifests into creations, physical examples of what they are going through. So what has brought about this big change for Jessica? ... falling in love and finding her soulmate who she lost many years previously. This lady is now exuding all that is wonderful about being loved and in love, she wears it like a halo and it pours through her onto the canvas in her latest pieces which are titled 'Ecstasy'.
Please go and look at Jessica's website for more detailed information, I don't want to feel like I'm influencing anyone's thoughts about her work, but for me it is exquisite. As I love all thing's interior related I chatted with her about how she displays her work in a home. Expecting that Jessica would have a large house with big walls I was surprised to see that in fact her small town house has quite small proportions yet even large works are situated here creating quite an amazing impact.
We talked about this and I think that if you invest in a piece of art of this standard it is essential that you decorate the room around the art rather than buy a piece which matches what you have already. What Jessica has done in her own home is to minimalise clutter by building in a lot of storage, under seating areas and around doorways, leaving wall space for the art. Seeing this has actually changed my thoughts about displaying paintings quite considerably, and is something I'm going to think a lot more about.
I very much hope that I can get together with Jessica again and bring to this blog examples of how to live with large pieces of original art.
This isn't the only way you can own a piece of Jessica's art, as, for the first time, a fabric and wallpaper company (Romo) have taken an artists work and reproduced it onto fabric, for curtains, upholstery, cushions and also for wallpaper. It is quite a brilliant idea. Not having a repeat pattern the fabric and wallpaper will create one huge piece of art on your wall or window, so please do go and have a look at the Romo Black collection featuring these contemporary impressionist works.
"A garden full of dreams" and "reflections" are my current favourites and these can also be bought through Jessica's website as prints on paper or canvas.
I am only touching on the surface here with this blog post but thought it may reach some readers who would like to investigate further by going to Jessica's website and blog ; www.jessicazoob.com and the fabric/wallpapers at www.romo.com
There is much more to say about this wonderful creative lady, who last year won her category at the Amara Interior Blog awards. This year she is nominated in the 'luxury' category, so if you hop over to vote for me (hint hint in colour inspiration at http://www.interiorblogawards.com/vote/janice-issitt-life-style/
then maybe you can also look at the Luxury category and give Jessica some support here).
Coming soon on this blog ... my adventures in a Shepherds Hut and more about my bedroom makeover and the sponsors for this month's Be Home Free ...