Art for art’s sake
EAGLE-VAIL Irony circles Jennifer Scott McLaughlin’s art like the very symbols that form the bulk of her colorful compositions.For as permanent as paintings really are, her work evokes a temporary quality; as if the oil, the color and the graphite renderings could wash away at any moment. It’s a deliberate statement by the young artist.”Temporary can be uncomfortable. The temporary quality of my paintings is kind of supposed to make you feel uneasy. It gives it an edge,” said McLaughin, who at the ripe age of 30 works full time as an artist. She is the newest addition at The Collaborative Fine Art Gallery in Eagle-Vail.She first started painting on chalkboards, inspiration bubbling up from an antique blackboard she had lying around the house.
“I’ve always been attracted to used chalkboards. The layers of writings and erasings give the surface a sense of history,” said McLaughlin. “I’ve always liked the quickness of chalkboard writing because it’s very temporary. There’s really no importance given to what’s written on it.” McLaughlin incorporates that free sensibility into her work. She’s evolved from chalkboards to painting on wood panels because she likes how grainy wood picks up light. She begins with graphite drawings on wood and then uses very thin layers of oil paints to create a vibrant luminosity. “I like the layers because it allows you to see deeper into the painting. What I want you to see is the whole creation process, how it develops and how it evolves,” said McLaughlin.Little pockets remain on the painting where the viewer can see into the work’s history, from the naked wood to the graphite renderings to the different oil colors. It’s reminiscent of those old blackboard erasings, where one might see the residue of past classroom lessons.
Circles, fluid lines – reminiscent of cursive handwriting – and color form the majority of McLaughlin’s composition. Color plays a major role, because if the work’s temporariness is unsettling, its color is very attracting.”My color palate changes, but I’m attracted to the cooler colors. If often depends on my mood and what I’m attracted to that day,” said McLaughlin.Emotion leads McLaughlin through her painting, and like a lot of abstract artists, she is stimulated by the creation process itself.”I paint more hours than most full-time jobs. The more I start, the more frantically I paint because I get a high from finishing a painting. The end point is very exciting,” said McLaughlin.
She tries to separate herself from her works possible meanings as not to lose the art’s freshness. She welcomes viewers’ interpretations. “As an artist, it’s my job to make people see something differently than how they’ve seen it before,” McLaughlin said. “But, it’s OK to be attracted to a painting just because you enjoy its composition and color.”For more information on the McLaughlin, contact The Collaborative in Eagle-Vail at 949-4ART.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 618, or email@example.com.Vail Colorado