Artist StatementHaving been a child that always played outdoors, it seems only fitting that as an artist I most enjoy depicting the natural world. Specifically, I am most interested in the brilliant colors and organic shapes of botanicals. I prefer to depict a wild explosion of blossoms with no apparent source. I paint with large strokes as well as traditional and nontraditional materials -- including spray paint, pastel crayons and drippy paint (oil or acrylic) -- to convey my love for color and movement. While working on a canvas, I dance between painting with precision and painting with wild abandon, as I don’t want a commitment to a particular flower or image to compromise the sensations of wildness, color and wonder. I identify with the impressionist painters of the 20th century as well as modern abstract expressionists. Being a departure from pure representation, my work illustrates this influence. In my visual language, the flowers, colors and brushstrokes are symbolic of a mood, feeling or memory. I insist on painting things that move me or make me feel happy. I feel the best use of my voice in painting is to communicate something positive. Ultimately, I hope my paintings are energizing and uplifting for others as well.
Born in 1984 in Fairfax, Virginia, Jessica McKinney grew up just outside of Washington, D.C.. She showed an early interest in art and began to exhibit her photography while just a teenager, winning numerous awards at the Prince William County Fair. Still, necessity required that Jessica dabble in other career paths in her teens and twenties, and she eventually moved away from her home state. While living in North Carolina, she returned to her first love and studied fine art. In 2011, Jessica graduated with an associate degree in fine art summa cum laude at Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines, North Carolina.
The same year, Jessica moved back home to the D.C. area and studied briefly at the Corcoran College of Art & Design. She eventually took a position with Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, where she was promoted to Assistant Director. In this role, she had the opportunity to meet many professional artists and develop skills in professional curation and management of retail art galleries while continuing to exhibit her own work.
Now living with her husband, Josh, and pet box turtle, Turley, in Baltimore, Maryland, Jessica paints in her studio regularly and exhibits her artwork regionally. Recent honors include acceptance into juried group exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and the headquarters of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and a solo exhibit at Belvedere Square Market in Baltimore.