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Painting for me is a very vulnerable experience. Having always struggled with anxiety, it has become my outlet of expression while also substituting into a meditative experience. Painting soothes me, and in that thought I strive to bring the same calming effect to others.

 

I am originally from Dayton, Ohio, where I acquired my Bachelors in Fine Arts. Being creative was something I knew I loved at an early age, but it was in college where my true love for painting grew. I have been in the Twin Cities for about five years now. The decision to move to Minneapolis was completely impulsive, with a tip from a friend and a desire to explore the artistic community that exists here.

 

At one point a couple of years ago, I decided to step out of my shell and really give myself the chance to be called an artist.  I had painted little ideas here and there consistently but with no direction, until one evening when I was listening to an online interview with an artist in Portland. This interview captivated me and it was in a simple statement that made the decision to try come alive. This artist said : `` to paint what makes your heart hurt ``.  Those words could not have resonated with me any more. See, I had been in a mode where I was unsure of what I wanted to paint. I was caught up in expectations that created a block for me. To paint what makes my heart hurt was exactly what I needed to hear.

 

I will continue to explore within myself and what I want to express through visual art. My current work is growth for me because it helps me practice vulnerability. These pieces are my attempt to forget the rest of the world and just paint what makes me happy. In my recent work, I have focused on uncertainty, which is why some of my figures are shown without eyes. They are exposed in many other ways, surrounded by the familiar and the unknown. This is expressed through vague suggestions of texture and naturalistic surroundings. Without the eyes to look into, one is left to wonder. The emotion is not directed by the eyes; it is directed by the overall composition and surroundings, letting many different meanings unfold to the viewer.

~ Jessica Meeks