My Artist’s Statement and Then Some

Artist Statement

 I am interested in creating images that tell a story about challenge and growth. Some of my figures may look like several people looming over the canvas, but they are actually only depictions of a single figure in motion, in time. I like contrasting my recollections of the stained glass images I passed while walking through the stations of the cross in church as a child with the idea of lives and lines that are more fluid. I strive to create colors and lines that express desire, pain, and exploration.

I sometimes paint because I have to. I think its one of those things in my life that keep me sane. I spend time in this place that has no rules, limitations or expectations. I’m the only one I have to answer to.

When a piece is going really well I am set free in this little space, singing, dancing, playing, shaking..I’m as much lost in the process as I am found. It has the power to leave me emotionally exhausted and yet somehow re-energized at the same time. It’s like I’m releasing this trapped child a little at a time.

I’ve started exploring further into my spirituality and love of nature. I have now a collection of paintings of trees because they are like hands to me..the universe’s way of holding us, comforting us. There is something about the energy in a tree that is so profound and compels me to try and capture just a little of that in my artwork. Not only do they provide the very oxygen we breathe into our physical bodies but their connection to Source is palpable.

The series I am just starting to work on now is less dependent on subject matter at all and more on abstract expressionism drawing again upon the importance of color and line to reference an emotion and hopefully propose a connection between myself and the viewer. I hope to not just reflect the chaos of modern times but to provide maybe a glimpse into the peace I think we are all searching for. If nothing else, maybe these new paintings will remind us of maybe not where we are, but where we’d like to be.

All of my pieces themselves, even though I am exploring with various subject matter, are connected through the emphasis of these rich colors and bold lyrical lines. I’m reminded of this constant juxtaposition of myself, stoically walking along these enormous stained glass windows, and locked into this perceived expectation of perfection and sacrifice, while also just starving to move freely and breathe. The lines trap the colors inside, but they also guide the way they move across the canvas.

That balance,  that dance, is where I want to be and where I hope to take the viewer.

The above artist statement was written three or four years ago and then edited a few months ago for my website gallery. I re-read through it today because I was going to print it off to send with this portrait I had volunteered to do for a local non-profit. Interestingly, I was struck not just by the fact that I have only completed two paintings in the last several months since I began to strive for non representational abstract paintings, but I was humbled by how small my efforts are in the grand scheme of all us striving to express ourselves.

Collectively, we need to kindle our creativity, to nurture our true selves. We are SO MUCH more than we appear to be! It is such a disservice to not respect and express that in everything we do.   

I am sending off this portrait to Creative Clay in St. Petersburg today. It is of one of their artists and includes a representation of his artwork in the background. I am generally not much of a portrait artist, but I feel like I did my best with it and I know it goes to such a worthy cause. Also, it feels good to be back in the saddle again, so to speak.

Alright readers, today’s challenge for us is to remember who we really are and not hide from it or put it aside for a rainy day. Celebrate your beauty, kindle your creativity and let’s get out there and do some serious co-creating in love and spirit. It is SO needed!   

Portrait of “Chris” for Creative Clay Exhibit. The background contains a little of one of his paintings. We all need to strive for such happiness and gratitude!

Jennifer Bothast


2 thoughts on “My Artist’s Statement and Then Some

  1. Jennifer, I am inspired by this. I have always been an artist, but never had…well, whatever it was…to do anything with it. I feel that I’ve wasted this gift, yet I understand we come into what we need when we are ready for it. You have just given me what I need. Thank you so much! ❤

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