about celia

Artist Celia Jackson

Celia Jackson, artist

As an artist, I seek to build my work from the inside out. This is because as a painter, the finished, overall image is important, but as a viewer what interests me most is in the details and visual textures that make up the piece as a whole.

What began years ago as black and white drawings of (what seemed to me) tiny life forms in a super-magnified drop of water, are now brilliantly colored, multi-layered paintings. I strive to make art that is a playground for the eyes. Art that gives the viewer texture upon texture to explore. I want my paintings to deliver an initial visual bang, but I also want my paintings to continue to offer something new with every viewing.

Two sources of inspiration have resonated throughout my life as an artist. The first is a love affair with fractal repetition of forms in Nature. I love how a naked tree resembles the structure of our lungs, how a spiral makes a galaxy and how it also makes a seashell. To me, the textures and the images that reveal themselves through the layers of paint can resemble both the cells in our bloodstream and a sea of stars at the very same time. The second is a belief that art should be accessible and approachable. I believe in "constructing" my paintings so that they are tough. I paint on wood, and when I paint, I really get into it with all my energy – scratching, wiping, layering, splashing, dripping, dabbing, scraping, collaging, and then I often coat everything in a thick varnish – turning the whole piece into an underwater jewel. More recently I have begun exploring "kinetic" paintings. These three-dimensional paintings can be moved, manipulated and rearranged by the viewer.

Over the last ten years, I have become more and more fascinated with the challenge of trying to capture perhaps the most difficult of subjects – people and their relationships to each other. The challenge, I believe, lays in the fact that when we look at people, especially paintings of people, we are not only seeing what they look like but who they are. As I paint from life, I seek to capture the subtleties of interpersonal dynamics over time, rather than a static snapshot. My portraits are a dance between the inside character and outside form of my subjects. And to me, this is yet another, albeit – psychological and symbolic layer – to play with.