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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Interview with Jessica McCourt


Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Full name, age,some background info, etc?

A)My name is Jessica McCourt and I am currently 25 years of age,although not for much longer. I'm not sure what to tell you about my background. I did go to art school, but I've found that my "education"really didn't begin until I left school and started painting for myself. I still consider myself to be learning with each painting and I rather enjoy it.I had a pretty normal up-bringing. No major horror stories that inspired me to paint and draw. I did have quite an imaginative childhood, however, filled with long days in the woods and I think there is a part of that in my work today.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)The influence of a childhood friend named Angie. She was incredibly talented at an early age and, unlike myself, was enrolled in private drawing lessons. We used to spend our weekends and summers either in our forts, climbing trees, smoking fake cigarettes or drawing from Archie comics. I had always enjoyed drawing, and being able to watch how Angie worked helped me learn a bit about drawing.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)Oh, I always hate this question. Not that it is a horrible question to ask, but I find it to be terribly difficult to get across an accurate description to someone.

Q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

A)Many many places. I do enjoy a great many things and so I find often those things get placed into my pieces. High fashion, animals, oldchildren's books, antiques, history, other artists, nature. Take a look in my studio and you'll see what I mean.A simple line from something I've read can spark an idea... and sometimes I have no idea where it comes from.

Q)What are you working on now?

A)I'm actually doing more drawing than painting currently, although I do have a small oil triphtic in the works. At this point, I'm attempting to get my website up and running and get enough works together to start looking around for shows to be a part of as well as *crosses fingers* a solo show. I've done solo shows before, but mainly at small shops. I'd love to do a solo or duel show at a full fledged gallery space. I've only done group shows at gallery spaces.



Q)Are there some web sites that you would like to recomend?Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?

A)http://www.wurzeltod.ch/, which is run by a wonderful woman named Suzanne. There is always something interesting on this page.Really, I don't surf the web too terribly often. Technology and I respect each others space.Also check out: www.dereknobbs.com, www.charm-school.com, www.audrey-kawasaki.com, www.scottaltmann.com, and www.mynasonoudesign.com... just to get you started.They are some talented people and wondeful friends!

Q) What programs / materials / tools do you use to create your pieces?

A)For my paintings, I work in oil on wood. I've tried canvas before ( afew years ago, before I really knew what I was doing,) and we didn't get along too well. I think if I tried it now, I might have better results but for now I'm pleased with wood. I still experiment with different mediums and brushes on occasion. I've currently discovered Liquin fine-detail medium thanks to a generous friend and I am absolutely in love with it.When I do my drawings, I love using tea-stained paper or even at times, old book paper. I really enjoy things that looked aged and I like bringing that to my work as well.

Q)What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?

A)I suppose to not be afraid of other's critiques of your work. They can be extremely useful and helpful to find flaws that you may not have seen otherwise. But also know when to take advice and when not to. I find there have been several times I have disagreed with someone's observation and while I appreciated the input, I decided to continue in the direction I had started.

Q) What is your personal definition of life and art and everything else in between?

A)I don't believe I have a set definition. I suppose both, life and art,are what you make of them.

Q) Do you think that art is a universal language - transcending all the different languages, cultures and religions etc?

A)I believe it is most certainly. Look throughout history how much the"picture" has influenced religon, government and culture. I think we are naturally a more pictorial species. Art itself was the first language. I suppose it isn't as defined as language or words themselves. They have a specific definition and meaning relating totheir structure and context. A painting or picture can take on a thousand different meanings and definitions because they are all subjective to their viewer. There is more of a relationship made between a person and a picture because there is much more freedom of definition inside it.Or I could just be talking out of my ass.



Q) What are your artistic influences?

A)I enjoy a lot of 18th and 19th century paintings. I also am very intrigued by some contemporary painters, photography... old and new illustrators alike.I don't carry one main person's work that I'm influenced by greatly. I enjoy and am inspired by so many things that they all become boiled together into the giant melting pot in my head.

Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)I've been told a great many things about my work, from people loving what I do to people saying " she must be a disturbed young lady." I've had other people call my work irrilevant and boring and I suppose you can't please nor connect with everyone. For the most part, however,I've found people enjoy the whimsical and sometimes humorous nature of what I do.

Q) Do you have many connections in the underground scene?

A)Oh, not really. Why, can you hook me up? HA! As a kid, whenever I heard people talk about anything that was an "underground" scene, I pictured it to be literally underground. As if there are a group of artists meeting in some dank, lost and forgotten subway tunnel having art shows. Perhaps that could be the NEW UNDERGROUND!

Q) Tell us about a recent dream you had.

A)It involved me being naked and trying to shower while several people were in a warped version of my bathroom staring at me.I ended up not caring and showering anyway.

Q) What is freedom to you as an artist?

A)Being able to do what I love, paint and draw. As long as I have my health and I'm not destitute, I'll always be able to get some artwork done. The reality is I just want to paint and make my living from it.That would be wonderful.

Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out asyour favorites?

A)The last painting I did, "The Offering" I really enjoyed painting. I'm in love with the skull because it was the first time I had ever really painted one. It was so much fun to work on. Plus it is a fawn skulland deer of any kind have a special place in my heart.My other favorite would have to be a drawing I working on currently that involves a woman with a schooner in her hair.



Q) Last Books you read?

A)This morning whilst enjoying my breakfast, I read a bit from a book entitled " A Literate Passion," which is the collected letters written between the incredible writters Henry Miller and Anais Nin.Before that it was "Freak Babylon. An Illustrated History ofTeratology and Freakshows," by Jack Hunter.

Q) Last records you bought?

A)Oh, it's been a while. Luckily I live with someone who has almost everything I could want. I think the last thing I bought was a SigurRos album.

Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?

A)Arthur Rackam, Waterhouse, Mucha, ... oh, there really are a ton more... more contemporary too... some others I enjoy would be AutumWhithurst, Audrey Kawasaki, Chris Rynaik...As far as galleries are concerned, I haven't actually been able to visit ones outside of Seattle. I enjoy most of what the Roq La Rueshows. The Davidson Galleries in Seattle also has some great stuff from time to time... prints from mostly European artists.Oh, and the Frye Art Museum, Seattle. They have a great permanent collection.



Q)Your contacts..E-mail.Links

A)Email: vonsplithoof@gmail.com
Website: http://www.jessicamccourt.com(currently under construction.)Livejournal: http://anaisred.livejournal.com/( where I post images of my work and other blabber currently.)

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