Inside the Studio

Bring happiness to your day with the works of Kirsten Jackson

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

I love to work with colour. When I see people look at my work and smile I know I am bringing a little bit of happiness to their day, so that is my main theme.

My main motivation is to portray the inherent beauty and harmony that exists in the inter-relationship of colour, composition, and form. I like to work on several pieces simultaneously, and my process involves building up layers of materials and textures. My initial layers are thin and fluid, inks and watercolours. As the painting progresses, I moved into thicker paints, acrylics, varnishes and glazes. I even have a fondness for house paints! I love the way the work builds, as it is an art in itself to know when the piece is complete.

Time is a crucial element in my works. I will take an artwork which I think is finished into my home and live with it for a few weeks. This way, the painting gets to tell me if it is complete, or if I need to add or subtract any element.

I start from an open place within, just as I start with a blank canvas. I avoid a self-conscious intention. Abstraction for me is a way to communicate the ineffable. Colours carry emotion, and they can capture and reflect light. The way that colours exist together, side by side and in varying layers of transparency and opacity is my vehicle, my means towards a perception of visual delight, easy and harmony.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  

I have never been given any advice as an artist, but I would say “never giving up” in any arena would be the best advice. I am also an athlete runner and this has helped me to keep trying new things and moving forward.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

I work with silence but sometimes I find myself singing “love me do ” by the Beatles.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

I love Ken Done’s paintings.

Who are your favorite writers?

I love reading, especially biographies about athletes. One of my favourite books was the “Andre Agassi” book called Open. I also loved the book The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do.

About the Author

Katherine Henning is Senior Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service here.