My art is a response to the beauty of balanced chaos found in the natural world. Outdoors and away from our imposed order, there exists a cacophony of sounds, colors, and shapes all changing simultaneously. I am drawn to this world because it is uncontrollable. Our attempts to tame, understand, and confine nature are limited. For this reason, I find the subject exciting and mysterious.
I have always found comfort outdoors as a respite from our technology-filled world. The more time I spend there, the better I begin to understand myself. Reflected in the environment, I recognize the complexities of my own life, built from a myriad of distinct experiences. Those experiences form a network with others, my individuality inextricably connected to vast systems of actions and organisms both inside and out.
Inspired by this insight, I choose to work outdoors, driven by the energies that surround me. I spend much of my time observing, and gradually begin to respond to the space with my marks. The process is meditative as I focus on color and movement, attempting to better understand this natural arena with its own infinite variety and chaotic rhythms. In the studio, I apply lessons from my outdoor practice to large scale oil paintings, working from photographs taken from the same locations.
Though based in realism, I focus on abstractions and interactions inherently present in the subject. My intentions are to create balance between specific objects that anchor the image and the movements that exist within and around it. I want to connect with the viewer at an instinctive level, to strike a fundamental chord in recognition of the similarities we share with all life, and perhaps to reveal new depths in a subject often overlooked or dismissed as simply beautiful.
Jessica Monroe creates artwork intended to be felt as much as seen. Her paintings embrace the idea that observing nature offers an opportunity to reflect and better understand ourselves. Inspired by the natural world, Monroe often works on location using watercolor, pastels and a camera. She then brings her practice into the studio to create large scale oil paintings based on her studies and photographs.
Born in 1983 in McAllen, Texas, Monroe holds a Bachelor of Arts from Southwestern University and has studied painting at New York University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For over fifteen years, Monroe has exhibited her work throughout Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, and taught art to students of all ages. She lives with her husband, Daniel Martinez, and works in her home studio in Edinburg, Texas. For more information and to view her art, please visit www.JessicaMonroe.com.