So Jennifer, it’s been a while since we’ve done something like this. In fact, two years as you noted. What’s up? What’s happening in the world of Jennifer Lail?
Yes, it’s been a few years. I have been intensely focused on concept. Creating work with more meaning and focus has provided me with a clear direction in my watercolor paintings.
Your work has evolved since we last spoke. It’s been an interesting ride keeping tabs and following this journey. What is the state that we’re in now?
I appreciate you seeing the evolution. It’s interesting. When I look back at past work I realize that every brushstroke has brought me to this point I am in now. I would say this state is one of great awareness. It’s a state of being able to translate direct meaning onto a two dimensional surface. Something I have been working at for years.
How did you reach this point in your work?
A great amount of patience with myself. I tend to get eager and want to move on too fast. Slowing down and focusing on my “why” has given my work a chance to catch up.
How would you describe the style of your painting to someone new to your work?
I would refer to my current body of work as contemporary minimalism.
I hate to be presumptuous, but it seems like you’ve found your groove - your home if you will. Is this true?
Perhaps this is true, or it could be part of the forward momentum. I am really enjoying this moment. I truly hope I stay in this chapter for a while. I like to push the boundaries of my materials and experiment. It’s complicated to explain, but it has happened a few times already where I go to paint and everything changes. I attribute it to the evolution of my work and what needs to be created.
So you’re in your studio, you put a little music on (what’re you listening to?), your brush is in your hand and there’s this daunting blank canvas before you. What’s next? What’s the process?
The blank is the most exciting view possible. I look at it and think of the endless potential. My process involves sketching, reading, meditation, and journaling. I have thought about this painting immensely before it lands on the paper. Once I run my hands across the cold pressed cotton, everything else falls away. I listen to music when painting. It helps block out distraction and overthought. It really varies, but lately I have been listening to Ludovico Einaudi, classical new age, Sam Smith (always), The Piano Guys, Amy Winehouse, Pop Strings Orchestra, Adele, Billie Eilish, and Camila Cabello.
Have you noticed a shift in the art culture recently? How has COVID-19 played into the whole scheme of things?
COVID-19 has propelled a major change. Personally, I have seen more content being put into the work being produced. It feels like more artists are banning together to support each other in this moment. I have seen some really beautiful collaborations born and that has been a beautiful thing to watch.
You practice in a traditional, physical medium, so what’s it like being an artist in the digital age?
I think it is really exciting seeing new technology and different ways to create art. Digital art has a space and importance just like painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture. It is the evolution and I believe it should be embraced and integrated.
Anything on the horizon for you?
As of now, I have a few art shows set for 2021. I will start working on those bodies of work fairly soon.