As my series extended through the 2022 spring semester, the content remained consistent, but the color and compositional choices began to change. While heightened color had been one of the key goals for this series, I only really began to push that concept this semester. My figures now exist under dramatic and almost cinematic lighting. Blue began to make an appearance in my work. While I’ve always been drawn to warm colors, I’ve deepened my appreciation for the way colors interact when—even within a very specific range—warm and cool colors interact. The blues in my recent work serve to make my favorite warm orangey reds warmer—thanks to the law of simultaneous contrast. I enjoy working with a limited palette. Certain colors feel more like me than others. For example, I almost never choose a cool yellow, but violet makes an appearance in every piece. Green usually isn’t a part of my paintings, although it is one of my favorite colors. Through this careful selection and dedication to my practice, I feel that I’ve developed a recognizable style.
Although most of my senior year has been spent with this series on wood panel, there have been a few departures. I still see these pieces as consistent with my body of work, though. One of my experiments, “Simple Joys,” dealt with the most difficult body part to depict. Its purpose is to function as a sort of portrait without the familiar head and shoulders formula. My most recent painting, “Faction,” began with an abstract wash of thinned paint. The shapes and values I initially put down informed the composition. The first layer acted similarly to the grain of the wood panels I’ve used.
As I near graduation, I can’t help but be ecstatic for what work I will make in the future. My studio practice will be integrated in my life regardless of what the rest of it looks like. Yes, I am proud of and excited about the work I’ve completed and exhibited this year, but as one of my instructors once said, “this is only my undergraduate work.”
Find me online at jaimecrainart.com and on Instagram @jaimecrainart and @jaimecraindesign