I would love to tell you a magical story as to why or how I started painting, but I don’t really have one. The truth is, I have gone through different phases with art; sometimes being completely in love with it, other times it’s been in the background of my life. I tried to draw and dabbled with various techniques, but always seemed to be missing something – until I discovered abstract fluid art.
After a lot of travelling all over the world, I gained so much inspiration. Especially with how beautiful nature is and the different landscapes and sunsets I saw. Even washed-out old walls in India drew my eye and I just wanted to recreate that somehow, to keep forever.
So I came home and made my passion a priority. I love how it looks, like nature but simultaneously capturing so much in one painting. The colours you can use and the different techniques to move the paint around the canvas. It makes me so happy when people compliment and want my art, as it’s my little memory or ‘piece of the world’ that I can give to someone else.
Most importantly to me, is that art actually became a sanctuary for me. Somewhere I could escape to and somewhere I could put how I feel out there, but in a creative way! It became a therapy. I always paint to music. I listen to a lot of RY X, Bon Iver, Oliver Riot and Henry Green. Because it’s such dream-like music, it takes my mind to places; back to memories.
… art actually became a sanctuary for me. Somewhere I could escape to…
I gain a lot of inspiration from nature programs and other artists’ work. I feel that the art community is so helpful and full of different ideas. I have asked similar artists questions on Instagram to help me work out how to do something or to solve a problem, and they are all so engaging and reply with such helpful answers. They share tips, colour schemes and new ways of doing or trying something.
I feel that the art community is so helpful and full of different ideas.
I have tried to go crazy and throw paint everywhere and see what happens, but I believe that the ones that work really well are the ones I have given thought to. Pieces that I’ve had a rough idea of what I’m going to do.
I love being commissioned. It’s so much fun to create something for someone who wants your work. Don’t get me wrong, it is a little daunting and I do get extremely nervous, but I always have faith that it will work out in the end. Having said that, I do get attached to certain art I’ve created, such as my “Notion” and “Pink Moon” art pieces. They are special to me for various reasons, but they have gone to very good homes – I try not to get too sad.
It’s so much fun to create something for someone who wants your work.
For some of my work, I don’t feel that it has come from an intentional or pre-determined place. Like most of my art, it has been formed through my escape from this chaotic world.
By day I am a chef in London, and I love my job. I love the craziness of being in the kitchen and how creative you can be with food. The different textures, flavours, colours and just how eating food brings back memories and takes you back to another place. I take colour schemes away with me from work to use in the studio. For example, I made a roasted beetroot and orzo pasta with rocket and feta cheese. Just how those colours mixed and complimented each other, gave me so much inspiration for artwork. The bright purple beetroot against the cream orzo pasta brought to life by the green rocket and then the white feta with hints of pink dye from the beetroot. It was magical.
Before rounding off, I would like to take this opportunity to give a tip. Simply, the only tip I can give someone is to research and just keep trying. I tried so many techniques before I found my own. I am still learning every time I create something new. Sometimes it just doesn’t work and I have to walk away or throw it in the bin. However, take note of why it didn’t work. What you would change and try again another day? Take photos while you work, at different stages – it’s really helpful to look back on. I find it helps if I get a bit lost in my work, as then I can look at it differently.
Jess Thacker is an artist and chef living in London, UK. She specialises in creating abstract fluid artwork pieces and is currently open for commissions.
Explore more of her art on her instagram: