In the Studio: Jessica Slack

This month dot-art speaks to artist Jessica Slack.

Jessica Slack is a contemporary abstract artist whose work is inspired by colour and nature. Jessica’s fascination with the power of colour and how it can evoke emotions when least expected leads to bold and vibrant expressionist paintings that aim to bring joy to homes all over the world! In her own words…

“The shifting nature of the environment, from the changing seasons to the contrast between urban and rural landscapes is constant inspiration to me. The aim of my work is to capture feelings of joy, wonder and freedom – reflected in the bold use of colour, texture and abstract mark marking you see in my work.”

After graduating with a first-class degree in Printed Textiles and an MSc in Colour Science, Jessica began her artistic journey after taking part in Liverpool Art Fair back in 2019.

Fast forward to now, Jessica is recognised as an emerging British artist with prestigious awards such as the Signature Art Prize and Bethlehem Card Commission in addition to being seen in The World of Interiors Magazine and having commissioned artworks throughout Liverpool City Centre.

Can you describe your style?

I would describe my style as abstract expressionist, intuitive painting. I love to play around with the tension of letting my intuition guide me and using my design experience to make decisions whilst I create artwork.

Which medium do you work with and what do you like about it specifically?

I mostly work with soft body acrylic paints because I love their fluidity and the varying opacity of different hues allows me to build translucent layers within my paintings. I love experimenting with different mediums and often also use charcoal, oil pastels, acrylic inks and pencils within my pieces.

Can you talk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just go straight in? How long do you spend on one piece? How do you know when it is finished?

I think it was Da Vinci who said ‘Art is never finished, only abandoned’ and this is genuinely my thought process when completing a painting. I never like to go too far and work the life out of a piece and I want those ‘mistakes’ to shine. I paint to work through my own emotions and I find it extremely cathartic so I tend to go straight into painting on canvas without much planning beforehand.

When did you begin your career in art?

I have painted for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of painting was my mum setting up a paint set in the kitchen at about 2 years old and ever since then I have been obsessed with it. I studied printed textiles and colour science at uni so this is where more formal training came in but the passion for painting has definitely been there forever.

Who or what inspires your art?

Nature and colour are my biggest inspirations. I find colour truly fascinating and like to stay in tune with the seasons and the varying colours and textures that nature brings along with them.

Why is art and creativity important to you?

Art is an amazing tool for so many things. On a personal level, I love that I can express how I feel without using words, it allows me to release my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I also love that art can communicate concepts and thoughts in a way that truly resonates with the viewer – allowing us to convey.

What do you gain from being a member with dot-art?

I love that I’m part of a community of local artists!

What does it mean to be an artist in the Liverpool City Region?

Being an artist in the Liverpool City Region is amazing! The support I’ve had from the community when doing various murals across the city to hosting exhibitions has been incredible!

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a body of really large works that I’m so excited about!
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To trust the process and your own intuition! Georgia O’Keefe said it perfectly: “I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

Discover more of Jessica Slack’s work on our online shop!