Jessica Webster has been on our site for a smidge over a week now. She has been a pleasure. I can already count on her to give me quick and thorough responses to a barrage of questions and emails. She is more than an awesome person. Jessica Webster is an awesome artist. Her work is both organic and chaotic. I was so fascinated by her background in science, but I am starting to realize that her knowledge of DNA and forensics has less to do with her art than her keen eye for color and her unrelenting drive to create.
I find letting an artist speak about their work is the best way to convey their artistic vision. Read on to understand more about her views on art and science!
What is your earliest art memory?
My earliest memories of art come from when I was three. My dad was always creating portraits with pastels or chalk, and I’d either sit for him or sit nearby watching. He also gave me lessons on illustrating—one afternoon of learning how to draw trees stands out in my mind.
How does your background in science influence your art?
My science background probably has less to do with my art, but at the same time is part of the framework that brought me back to it. The focus in a lab is geared toward efficiency, proficiency, and quality control. Through working in that rigor, I’ve come to understand that my natural inclinations are more appropriate for expressive media instead of analytical. Maybe it’s also provided me with a basis for fully letting go when I create. Working exclusively in the realm of science demonstrated that the limits I placed on myself with one objective left a void in other areas where my passions excel. I ultimately found that the best experimentation for me is working with color.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired simply by the act of creating. Realizing that inspiration is ubiquitous, and that each individual can be a vessel or conduit for this creative flow never ceases to amaze me. All forms and attempts encourage me, but my true inspiration comes from the ultimate satisfaction I get from using my mind to make art.
Composition or texture?
Both composition and texture! You have to let a mood dictate what will predominate in the piece. I probably prefer to work with composition because I really love to get lost in creating a scene, but alternate to the richness that textural components provide.
What is your favorite piece from your portfolio? Why?
The work entitled “Square Bosque” would have to be my favorite piece in the gallery. Because of the nature of the fluid acrylics, I prefer to complete the abstract within one sitting, and as a larger piece this required a lot of time. I gravitate toward using colors of my predilection and depending on mood, but also use the painting as an escape, allowing tonal potency to take over and dictate form. The vivid oranges and contrasting interference aspects were a joy to work with for several hours at a time, and take on new life now that the paint is dry. Since I’m in a different mindset while I compose, I find myself coming back to this piece often to see what new details are revealed in changing light and in different perspectives.
Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton?
I would have to relent to both of their observations and give them each credit where due. Newton and Einstein have made significant contributions, but their theories are tested by exceptions. I have a solid appreciation for physics, but I leave that to the pros. Let’s say Watson/Crick instead…
What advice would you offer for other emerging artists?
For any emerging artist I would say to stay firm in expressing you, don’t relent to creating only what you believe is marketable. The beauty that individuals can lend with their art is too valuable to be reduced to a formula. A piece may resonate in an unintended way or move someone particularly when it means less to you. This was my direct experience with the fluid abstracts and why I engaged in developing my style more within that arena
For fun, who is your favorite scientist?
My favorite scientist would have to be a good friend of mine, Chirajyoti Deb, Ph.D. Because of his incalculable time and dedication spent in the lab, his graciousness with mentoring me (as well as sharing his passion for art!), I feel that he is the first on my list. There are a few others I have in mind, but because of his support and encouragement I feel that he deserves the recognition.