My art is therapeutic for me. I make art because it makes me feel amazing, even when I am stressed about how a painting will turn out. I draw and paint things that are beautiful to me; things that I feel make the world a lovelier place. It’s a bit self-indulgent some might say, but I feel livelier when I am painting the subjects that I am most drawn to.
I learned traditional oil painting at a public university but had to stop using oils due to a lack of a well ventilated space after graduation. From then on I was mostly a digital artist until mid 2019 when I decided to do more traditional paintings because I missed making physical art. Now I use watercolor, pastel, color pencils, and graphite in addition to digital.
The focus of my art is about depicting a “light fantasy” where concepts are explored through both realistic elements and the surreal. I use bright, saturated colors not found in nature to build an image that one might never see in reality, but can also feel familiar.
Over the years, I have come to realize that flowers mean a lot to me. They are quite lovely, but they also symbolize so many things in my life. Flowers can symbolize love, loss, peace, and tension. Another thing that inspires me is people. Facial features are something I like to play with in addition to color and mood in order to paint a person that seems unique. I embrace the differences that separate us while also trying to tie in universal emotions and motifs like sadness, loneliness, and longing.
Learning art never has an end point. It is nice to make a great painting but you can always make a better painting and explore deeper concepts. It is my hope that I will continue learning and exploring art for many years.
Jessica McCottrell is a freelance illustrator and digital artist based in Arizona. You can follow her at https://www.instagram.com/applejjacks/.