Jessica Williams
Palettes Book

I think of my art as my way of collecting, organizing, and articulating intangible sensations and observations that otherwise could not be expressed. Just as the mind's eye, like a camera's lens, is a receiver of sensations; my paintings give these transient connections actual form through bold, agressive mark making and build up layers of paint. Painting molds, clarifies, and, in a way, harnesses my abstract and impenetrable perceptions.
My process is similar to throwing a pile of clothes onto the floor and, with concentrated gusto and effort, reorganizing them by picking up and folding into piles until, although sometimes messy and mismatched, they feel and look like they all belong there, just as they are.

I work in acrylics and gouaches--both mediums that require manipulation and lend themselves to being built up in layers.  I enjoy the immediacy of these mediums because they give rapid shape to my ideas, and they never seem too precious as to keep me from reworking or painting over.  I work in a way that is full of surprises and that thrives in the midst of the picture taking shape--like something invisible exploding into the realm of the visible. The developing and changing internal dialogue is what I am most invested in.

My imagery is derived from and a combination of quick sketches from life, photographs (often of family members, friends, and images I have collected from pop-cultural/photographic publications), vivid memories, striking literary passages, imagined spaces like those momentarily visited in daydreams, and free invention. In tune with both Symbolist and Expressionist traditions, the narrative is not linear, but rather, woven together with implied associations that are at once romantic, sincere, messy and strange. I am intrigued by how shapes and colors communicate and how organic forms can pour out from or be contained by a more concrete, geometric space. My content is almost entirely concerned with the balance between the intangible (perception, feeling, memory), and the tangible (human form, nature). Although I am giving dimension to things that are fleeting, the rules of traditional perspective do not apply; the space is generally flat as opposed to deep, underlining the fact that I am not creating an illusory image that replicates nature in a way that is recognizable as "the real world".  I am far more interested in presenting a synthesis of derived, processed information from that world and creating one, an "alternative reality", all my own.

-Jessica Williams, 12/12/05