Much thought, time and skill go into ICL 2018 Artist in Residence Jessica L. Bryant‘s watercolor paintings. Her amazing art-highly realistic, almost photographic-has earned her signature status with the Northwest Watercolor Society. But while Jessica wants viewers to feel they can recognize a landscape immediately, she presents it as an engaging visual composition with no distracting elements. Each of her larger pieces takes 60 to 80 hours to create, she says, and is based on extensive field research and reference photography.
The ICL artist in residence program, which began in 2013, explores the nexus of art and nature. Every year, we bring attention to Idaho’s beauty and conservation issues through the eyes of an artist, thanks to the generous support of our sponsor, ARTA River Trips.
I learned about Jessica’s art last week as she showed me around her Coeur d’Alene studio. She shares the brightly lit workspace-festooned with sparkly lights under the high ceilings and lined by tall windows-with other artists. The Redbrick Art Studio, located in an old brick schoolhouse, is where she paints and teaches.
Jessica’s work is informed by contextual knowledge of her subject and its conservation and historical issues. Her art brings together the many strands of her interests-science, conservation, history and more. She recently completed an artist residency in the Owyhees of southern Idaho and is excited to explore and learn more about the whole state.
Jessica says, "…I am passionate about finding ways to use my career as a full-time watercolor artist to educate the public about environmental and wilderness concerns and inspire interest in conservation and preservation."
Jessica will focus on rivers during her residency-just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Idahoans depend on clean water in all our rivers in so many ways, and they are truly the lifeblood of the state. We look forward to seeing what she creates this year!