Jason Tessier: I Wrote Poetry, But Not A Great Deal Of It

Jason Tessier

Artwork’s Title: I wrote poetry, but not a great deal of it’

Year: 2019

Materials Used: Acrylic, oil and colour pencil on canvas

Jason Tessier, I wrote poetry, but not a great deal of it, acrylic, oil and colour pencil on canvas, 81 cm x 100 cm

Art Verge

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

Jason Tessier

Pretty much all my paintings start with me putting on some jazz music (usually an album by Ella Fitzgerald) and drinking a cup of tea whilst staring at a mountain of paints that I have accumulated in my studio. I usually have a colour in mind for the base of my paintings and I’ll hunt through for the right combination of paints to create that colour.

Whilst the base coat dries, I’ll usually return to working on a bunch of other paintings. I’ll often take colours from my other paintings and incorporate them into the newer work. I find that working on several paintings at once often leads to each painting informing one another and that leads to some really exciting results. If you look closely at my works together, you can often see where gestural marks, shapes and colours have been inspired by each other.

If I feel a painting starts to get too much, I work in pencil marks to break the paint layers up and shift the balance of the painting. I spend a lot of time envisioning different combinations of colours, paints, shapes and marks until something clicks like a switch in my head. Sometimes the painting doesn’t work and I’ll put it to one side for a while. Upon returning to it with a fresh pair eyes I’ll try and see if there’s something I missed before within the work and hopefully I’ll be able to work again on it.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Instinctive, Contingent and Visual.

Would you use another three different words to describe the ‘I wrote poetry, but not a great deal of it’ painting?

 Layered, Textured and Engaging.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

I don’t come up with a pre-fabricated idea when it comes to making a painting. I take in a lot of visual information from everyday life and also from looking at art. I take screenshots and photos of anything I find visually interesting, I sometimes use those images to inform the direction of the work or reference certain colour combinations. Most of the time however the work is made spontaneously.

What colour is used the most in this painting?

Blue – It is one my favourite colours to work with and is really impactful in a painting.

What would be the best way to exhibit your painting?

Surrounded by vast white walls and floors, so as not to distract the viewer from the work.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Laura Owens, Blinky Palermo and Imi Knoebel have really inspired me recently, but I always find myself looking at works by John Baldessari, Joan Mitchell and Cerith Wyn Evans for constant inspiration. There are lots of contemporary artists who I follow on Instagram who are a constant source of inspiration: Martin Lukáč, Callum Green, Jenny Brosinski and Matt Smoak to name a few.

How do you know when this painting was finished?

It is the hardest thing about painting; you can easily carry on and over work the painting. Sometimes you just need to take time away from the work and then return to it, and then you’ll be able to see whether it is finished or not. That being said, I’m not the best at being able to do that!

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

I share a studio with my friend from university, which is situated in South London by the Thames River. It’s a great little space!

Which exhibition did you visit last?

The last show I saw was ‘That Which is Not Drawn’ group show at the Marian Goodman Gallery in London.

Which are your plans for the near future?

I will continue to make new works in my studio over the coming months and look into exhibiting the work in the new future!

Additional Work

P1010138 correct edit
Jason Jessier, Man smoking cigar, Acrylic, oil and colour pencil on canvas, 81 cm x 100 cm
Jason Tessier, and that reassured me, acrylic, oil and colour pencil on canvas, 60 cm x 90 cm
Jason Tessier, Studio View, 2019


© All images are courtesy of the artist

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