I am a mixed media painter. My works are a response to the emotional demands of existence. Ever present, within my life and my work, there is anxiety. This can be invigorating but, at times, near overwhelming.
My body of works utilize a unique language that allows me to express myself and to expel my inner demons. My vocabulary has evolved through experimentation with different techniques and modifying traditional mediums. The results are at once sedentary and dynamic. The oil painted figures are often rendered in silent meditation. The environment is created through physical motion; I climb atop and around the canvas, flinging paint, throwing ink, and sprinkling dust. The canvas becomes a punching bag; I sling, hit, slap, and beat coffee, paint, ink, and charcoal into the surface.
In the grand tradition of figurative painting, my figures are painted in oil. The subjects are primarily female because this is how I identify. Nudity expresses a certain vulnerability as well as ownership of one's own body. Male artists have used female bodies for eons. It is important for me to reclaim this imagery as my own.
Many of my works evoke the swamplands. Grasses, lily pads, snakes, frogs, and algae recall the disquieting and beautiful habitat, ever circulating with death and growth. This environment is a concrete manifestation of the unease in which I live. The detritus creates haunting gloominess and beauty, the remnants of life nurturing new life.
I experiment with different materials in order to create chemical reactions, and seek to immobilize them beneath a glossy surface. Many of these reactions are created by attempting to combine opposing ingredients such as oil and water, ink and turpentine. Many of the brown hues are created with coffee.
Although most of my works are solemn in tone, there is always a point of illumination. A beacon within the blackness. Subtle beauty in darkness. A lesson to be learned through struggle.
Jane Philips was born and raised in the Heart of Dixie (Alabama, USA) and holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She works with innovative and traditional materials to create dark, textural environments that she populates with haunting figures. Many of her works are a reflection of her struggle with anxiety and exploration of identity.
She currently lives in Huntsville, Alabama and has a studio at Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment.
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