Artmaking has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. Before I learned about graphic design or even knew I would study art in college, there was painting. My interest in two-dimensional art has taken on a few forms, but even when using drawing materials on paper, I approach my work as a painter. In paintings and drawings alike, I see my marks as brushstrokes.
My work has almost always dealt with psychological themes; it explores the power of the human mind and its inevitable downfalls. This theme is manifested in my studio practice as well. I believe in showing up regardless of what internal struggles I’m facing. Some of those mental tensions might make their way into my work, but I’m okay with that.
Even when my work deals with complex and dark content, I rarely choose overly dark or muted color palettes. In fact, using heightened color is my favorite way to describe the human form. I find that this approach allows me to express specific moods while working within the tradition of realism. I do not see direct representation as the most important quality of my work, but currently, portraiture seems to be the best way for me to say what I need to say.
During this entire academic year, I have been working on a series of oil paintings on wood panel. By using circular motifs, I have enjoyed the exploration of inner and outer worlds. In many of the paintings, the figures exist within a circular shape; in some, parts of the figures extend beyond or fade into the boundary between the painted and the unpainted surface. This series started as a way to connect my identity as a writer with my visual art. Each piece has been in some way connected to a piece of text from my past. Some relate to lists, some to poems, and some to funny remarks I or someone else has said.
These four paintings began my series and represented the start of a new direction with color. As I proceeded through the year, I began to take more risks in choosing unnatural and almost cinematic color palettes. What came after these initial pieces is even more true to who I am as an artist.
Find me online at jaimecrainart.com and on Instagram @jaimecrainart and @jaimecraindesign