Fifteen Fashion Faces

A prominent gallery curator in Burlington, VT had come to a show of commissioned fashion drawings I had done, a mix of newer more 'polished' figures and then older ones in black and white, from my New York days.  He was kind, but he said something quite honest and blunt, to the extent of:  These are nice, but can you do something more interesting?  Something gutsier?

Words that were, of course, hard to hear… But which were transformative.  

I thought my fashion-school fashion things were good enough.  But as I reflected on it more and more, I could see that I had never really done something completely raw, self-determined with my fashion drawings.  They were tame.

And so, I began again.  One afternoon, after a difficult phone conversation, I sat down to paint -- this time combining sharks with a female face, bubbles, and simply color.  I painted it all at once, step by step, working with the fluidity and the imperfections.  And out came Shark Tank.  

I'm not necessarily convinced it's any sort of "best work" but it pushed a boundary for me, which is I think all you can do.  Venture into new territory again and again.  

I hope to finish the series of 'Fifteen Fashion Faces' in the upcoming year.  Until then, see the current works here.

 
Shark Tank, 2012

Shark Tank, 2012

 
 

Leaving Las Vegas...

I am not at all leaving Las Vegas… but somehow it seemed like the most fitting title!  (Thank you, Sheryl Crow, for gifting us that song -- and frame of mind).  I'm leaving Vermont.

Before leaving, however, I was able to collaborate with photographer Lauren Mazzotta on the beautiful product and profile shots you see on the new website.  It was an incredibly fun shoot, held on location at a friend's family barn/studio/office.  You'll see the magical castle-like feeling it seems to hold, in photo #1 (pardon the camera-phone grittiness).  A cross between an English barn, Adirondack Retreat, and stunning Chateau…  This is the workspace of the Garrett's, the creators of the new Ivy Hotel in Baltimore.  Chic and glorious.  It was inspirational, to say the least!

We photographed greeting cards galore, and enjoyed the August day in Vermont - sun shining, mountains in full sun, and animals roaming.  I'm leaving Vermont for New York City, where I hope to pursue some new creative projects..  I'll miss all this terribly, but I'm looking forward to a new pace, a new sort of sunrise. :)

P.S. Don't worry, I will keep you posted!                                                                                                         P.P.S. Thank you so much to the Garretts!!


 
Garrett Barn JHeloise
JHeloise Barn Collage
Garrett Hotel Group
 

Queen City, Textile City

It is documented that within Burlington VT's history, numerous buildings have served as factories and warehouses for production of textiles and various textile goods.  Perhaps that explains my decision to make some textile designs out of my watercolor habit, just about 4 years after arriving and setting up shop as an artist.  Or maybe it's the years spent surrounded by calico fabrics while my mom and aunt quilted during childhood… or the time in the fashion industry where, as an intern with Diane von Furstenberg, I collected her printed dresses like they were going out of style -- which, they are not now or ever. ;)

Regardless, I set my mind to this new project and came up with the following.  Prints for homes, clothing, fabrics… possibilities.  See more at the ART page.


Duck Decoys, 2016

Duck Decoys, 2016

Brushstrokes, 2015

Brushstrokes, 2015

Cows, 2016 (classic Vermont theme!)

Cows, 2016 (classic Vermont theme!)

Chairs, 2015

Chairs, 2015

House of Hearts, 2015

House of Hearts, 2015

Experiments in Taekwondo

It's Throwback Thursday and I've just taken out my favorite Taekwondo T-Shirt.. Initially I went to Taekwondo class in 2014 out of sheer curiosity, wanting to kick things -- and also draw things (a strange combo, I know!)  What I found there was an amazing group of people who were so devoted to their discipline -- and so supportive as a community.  It was truly inspiring..  I spent a year there drawing each week - also worked my way to yellow belt and designed a commissioned t-shirt from some sketches I did.  My roundhouse kick made some progress too ;)

Here are the photos from the Blue Wave summer camp, which took place in Tunbridge Vermont. Sweaty and fun.  Much of the camp walked around in my t-shirt design (even up to three days without washing;)), which was exciting and slightly surreal.

** Also, some notes on the figure drawing:  Taekwondo, like many martial arts, seems to be based both on building body strength and coordination for offensive and defensive moves/stances, but also on knowing the opponent and working with their tactics continuously throughout the match.  I found that the better I understood the sport, the easier the drawings got.  [And of course, the observation done in drawing fueled the learning].  My approach is as follows: I tend to [visually] block the body into segments, head, chest, hips, legs… But then to find a defining movement to capture, as a starting point for the drawing, one that goes through the whole body.  And working from there.  An adaptation of fashion drawing..  It took many drawings to make progress!  

Thanks so much to Blue Wave of Burlington VT for letting me be a part of it :)


This adorable girl did Irish step dancing for us!

This adorable girl did Irish step dancing for us!

Camp couple modeling the Tshirt (& tie-dye!)

Camp couple modeling the Tshirt (& tie-dye!)

Some serious workouts..

Some serious workouts..

A work called "Ready"… drawn from Taekwondo blackbelt Sara Sayles.  Drawings that overlap bodies can often get to the core of a movement better than a single complete figure.  (Black China marker on sketch paper.) 

A work called "Ready"… drawn from Taekwondo blackbelt Sara Sayles.  Drawings that overlap bodies can often get to the core of a movement better than a single complete figure.  (Black China marker on sketch paper.) 

Farm to Ballet… Art.

When Farm to Ballet began, it was just a twinkle in the eyes… of several devoted adult ballet students, and one inspiring, adventurous teacher - Chatch Pregger.  I was lucky to be a dancer in the first and second seasons, 2015 & 16 -- and created the artwork & logo to launch the state’s very first annual traveling outdoor ballet show.  For the artwork, the executive team for the project had requested “a dancer with mountains and farm.  And maybe some vegetables. Can you do that?”

Of course I said Yes. :)  The work took longer than expected, as the perfection needed to get a ballet dancer “just right” is a bit maddening (The lines ARE everything!).  Fortunately I had already spent several years intermittently studying/drawing dancers in the adult classes, and about 6 years of taking class myself.  [Admittedly somewhat in love with the inherent capacity for beauty that the body seems to possess, made so visible through ballet..]

The inspiration for the mountains and farm views came from books, as it was mid-winter.  Artwork was hand-done in watercolor, as well as a black pen version that became the logo.  The colors were shifted in photoshop to create richer, deeper tones.

And a star-filled show was born.  The real magic was left to the dancers and choreographer ;) I was glad to be able to help out and give back a little piece of Vermont, the state that has so inspired me!

To check out the show & find out more, visit http://farmtoballet.org.  ALSO, pick up a T-shirt or totebag and support the project.


 
 
Farm to Ballet Logo by JHeloise

Farm to Ballet Logo by JHeloise

And then there was music.

Those who grew up with me know that I spent many long hours in piano lessons -- and exhilarating (occasional) nights in performances of school musicals, All-State Choir, and voice recitals.  Somewhere around age 20 my hands were restless from being away from the ivory keys, and I took up guitar.  I brought my first guitar with me to France on my post-college year of teaching English abroad, and I taught myself (slowly!) all the songs I could think of.  Knowing I could never compete with the likes of Eric Clapton and so many others, I was fairly content to imitate Bob Dylan at low volumes while roommates were sleeping.  

About a decade later, I realized I could write songs.  It was a wonderful revelation… My hope, in writing them, is that I might be able to contribute to the miraculous treasure-chest-thing that is American music.  I’ve tried to write songs that I might want to hear - or to sing.  Some are more “catchy” than others, most have a distinct folk bent to them.  Looking forward to seeing where it all goes...

Here is album #1, Songs for  Sea - Demo, written in Burlington and recorded on iPhone (May 2015)

Songs for a Sea Album Cover by JHeloise

Songs for a Sea Album Cover by JHeloise

Summer of April..

It's always amazing to see a past project come to life…

I was so excited to see the models of April Cornell grace the catalog and website this season.  The photo shoot itself took place in Hinesburg Vermont, at Hidden Gardens B & B, last year in the spring.  We had many hands to get the job done - I handled makeup (natural), hair and a fair bit of styling.  It was a group effort, and such a fun, creative one!  Here are some of my favorites...

P.S. Shop April's adorable dresses, tops & girls' clothes at aprilcornell.com - plus amazing linens and housewares.  Be warned, it's quite addictive stuff ;)

Model Pippa for April Cornell. Photo by Lauren Mazzotta

Model Pippa for April Cornell. Photo by Lauren Mazzotta

Photo by Jessica Anderson

Photo by Jessica Anderson

Photo by Lauren Mazzotta

Photo by Lauren Mazzotta

Photo by Jessica Anderson

Photo by Jessica Anderson

Return to Camp

Nothing better than a 4th of July weekend spent on the island I grew up on… painting!

Summers from age 9 were devoted to a Girl Scout Camp in the Adirondack Mts. of New York State -- a gorgeous tree-covered spot with lake views all around.  This weekend, my mission was to create new signage for the camp, transforming traditional brown wood planks with text into welcoming scenes.  

We managed to scrounge up varnish in the woodshop, some blue, green and white acrylic paint -- and then a terribly old (prewar?) tube of red oil.  The resulting works were a fun experiment in a new medium, dotted with sailboats and little flag posts.  The inevitable oversight?  Oil paint takes days or weeks to dry!  So our little red buildings will need some extra time in the sun:)

Pics below!  

xoxo Jackie

P.S. The camp is undergoing a huge revitalization effort -- it has recently been bought by the Alumni and Friends of Eagle Island after a major fundraising campaign to save the camp from being sold.  If you can contribute, PLEASE DO.  www.friendsofeagleisland.org

Lodge (site where the Adirondack Chair was painted!), 2016

Sailboats never get old..

Adirondack Great Camp architecture

Happiest kind of work.

Happiest kind of work.

Art in Action :)

Art in Action :)

Source: http://www.friendsofeagleisland.org

Tiger Tiger!

The latest artwork has taken a form all its own… tigers that went rainbow.  Inspired by both the magnetic energy of the animals themselves, and also the power of movement that they carry, I found some inspiration -- and explanation, in the following quote.  From "Tigers in Snow" by Peter Mattheissen, 

"If you want to hunt the tiger, first you must make sure the tiger is not hunting you.  And to know that, you must first hunt within yourself." -- Mochtar Lubis

Art seems to be one of the best ways of hunting one's inner tigers…  To see one's mood right there on the page, transformed into colors & shapes when all is said and done.  

The vibrant energy of the dancer pictured here [Eleanor King], controlled yet free, seemed to drive the work forward.  It's no surprise that the art itself took a turn towards the abstract and an unexpected color palette.  Hopefully it becomes a fierce textile design soon;) --Jackie

TIGERS!.. in the making

TIGERS!.. in the making