Making Special: Let’s talk about art!

Jessie Erwin, with her painting, It Never Rains but Pours, Oil on Canvas

Jessie, with her painting, It Never Rains but Pours, Oil on Canvas

I should probably begin by introducing myself. I am a 23 year old artist and designer living in Newnan (at the moment) but working all over the surrounding areas. I have been living in a lot of different places this past year too-Fayetteville, Milledgeville, NYC, ATL, and now I am in the fantastic Newnan! Ha…obviously I have some commitment issues! Really I just love to travel, have new experiences, and learn new things. I grew up in Rochester, NY but have lived in Fayette County for most of my life so there is no telling where I am going to end up. I think I can confidently say though, that if I stay in the U.S. permanently, that it will be on the East Coast.
I am in the process of starting an Art and Design business. I have been working since this summer but still have not gotten my business license because I am having extreme issues deciding what to call it. This may be a good topic to post later once I get it narrowed down a little more so I can get some feedback!
One of the most important things to know about me as an artist is that I truly believe that Art and Music are human necessities as basic as water and shelter. Many people who aren’t what they themselves consider “artistic,” disagree, but when you look at the history of any Native people, the only things that they all have in common is shelter, food, and some form of art and religion. I think that shows that it is a basic human impulse to create forms of art.
Anyone interested in this topic should read Dissanayake’s book Homo Aestheticus. My college professor had me read it and it is really fantastic. Dissanayake refers to the human compulsion to produce art as “making special.” She is talking about taking something functional and personalizing or decorating it to make it into something we find to be beautiful or interesting for no functional reason.
Everyone is of course welcome to their own opinion…but that is mine! In this blog I would like to talk about art and design in this area specifically as well as touch on art in general.
Shifting to my own art, I paint large scale, detailed, and brightly colored oil paintings. I can do all of the other forms of painting and drawing but this is my passion. For my gallery work I do mostly autobiographical work and paint with a fusion of styles. There are realistic and surrealist qualities that I merge with the way my mind sees the event or issue I am focusing on. I take what I feel and give it a visual representation.  At some point I may post my own work, but I will wait on that for now. I do photography as well but painting is what I live for!
My design work focus’ on company branding. I love to work with quality  local companies that I can build their design from the ground up. I customize design beginning with the logo and then continue through materials like business cards to advertisements. The consistency to design can be really effective. I like to be able to shift the use of my artistic talents to things that are functional as well as beautiful. I also like to do this in simple ways as well by knitting scarves and going other traditionally “craft” things.
For the sake of getting to know me, I will give you some of my favorite artists:


Frida Kahlo, The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Me, and Senor Xoloti (the dog), 1949, Oil on Canvas

Frida Kahlo – What I love so much about Frida is not her technique, but her style and subject matter. Almost all of her work is autobiographical and often includes an actual self-portrait within the painting. I feel I connect with her work on a very personal level.

Salvador Dali – He is just such an innovative and creative mind that I have to love him! He is one of the original Surrealist artists. I connect with his work because he takes visuals in his mind of things that exist in real life but do not exist in the form or situation that his mind sees them in. Additionally, he is one of the most talented artists of whom I have ever had the opportunity to view their work. I saw some paintings of his at the Guggenheim in New York during a Spanish Touring Exhibition and I was blown away! It honestly looks like he has painted some of his strokes with a single hair! Also…I have been dying to see the new Dali movie but haven’t yet.

• Current Artists – There are a lot of current artists that I really love including: Judy Chicago, James Jean, Camile Rose Garcia, Edgar Jerins (who I met in NY and was really cool!), Ouporov & Scherer, Doze Green, Irene Hardwicke Olivieri (I love her sister too, the director of Twilight), Doug Safranek, Mark Ryden, Jeff Soto, Fred Wessel, Alex Gross, Gary Baseman, MARS-1. There are so many more but this is probably enough to start with!

I don’t want this blog to get too long today but I would love to talk about music too…the other side of my art passion!

So… let’s talk about art!

December 6, 2009