Cecil Whig- March 23, 2015
By Dara McBride [email protected]
ELKTON — When looking at Jessica St. Clair’s art, what you see may not be what is real.
But the feelings and emotions the works evoke are real to St. Clair. Through blending mediums, St. Clair is able to show the viewer how she sees a scene in her mind’s eye.
One piece – seemingly a photograph of a path to the beach – represents what St. Clair considers to be “the happiest place on earth.” But the blue sky with fluffy white clouds is a combination of three images. And the wooden sign that reads “Utopia” is created using a photo St. Clair took of an old building.
However, the process means the final image shows “the warmth, the joy that you feel when you’re here,” she said.
This month, St. Clair’s creations are on display at The Palette & The Page as part of the exhibition “Spirals, Curves & Wanderlust.”
St. Clair said she feels like she was born doing art. Although no one else in her family is a professional artist, she said she comes from a creative family that supported her passion.
“From the time I was a toddler – big enough to hold a crayon – I was creating,” she said.
It’s hard to find one word to describe St. Clair’s work. She combines photography, digital art and graphic design to create. The process should appear “seamless,” she said.
Her work starts with her own photography. St. Clair said she loves being out in nature and finds peace by being alone with her camera.
One piece in the current collection shows a hosta plant dripping in dew that she photographed in the morning in her own yard. But St. Clair’s rendition shows a black and white plant at night, with a sliver moon in the corner and purple water drops falling off petals.
“It looked dreamy, so I wanted to capture that,” she said.
That image is presented on aluminum, but most of her work is printed on canvas. She said she likes the “fine art” quality the material lends to the subject.
Work on display now includes images from Paris and the West Coast, as well as closer to home.
St. Clair grew up on the Jersey Shore, and many of her pieces speak to a love of all things nautical. She moved to the Elkton area when she and her husband took jobs at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
“I’m so happy to be here now,” St. Clair said of the arts community in Elkton. She recalled stepping into The Palette & The Page last summer and thinking, “I need to be here.” Her fine art can regularly be found on the gallery’s walls. The business also sells her Bark Remarks Greetings, a collection of cards featuring humorous four-legged subjects.
After being a graphic designer for 10 years, St. Clair said she wanted to create work not made to fit someone else’s specifications.
“I enjoy that,” she said of graphic design. “But I love the fine art end of this so much that I missed it.” She now pursues her craft full-time through her business Jessica St. Clair Studio.
Her business’ tagline is: “Art transcending perception.” She said she hopes others see her work as “bold” and “interesting” or “colorful” and “emotional.”
“I like to have a different take on things,” she said.
“Spirals, Curves & Wanderlust” will be on display through March 27. The event is free and works are also for sale in the gallery. The Palette & The Page is located at 120 E. Main St. in Elkton. For more information, contact 410-398-3636 or visit thepaletteandthepage.com.
For more on Jessica St. Clair’s work, visit www.jessicastclairstudio.com.