A huge thank you to Millie Travis for this lovely piece on her blog
Before Jessica paints, she closes her eyes. She conjures up images of wild heath landscapes, maybe a ragged coastline, or even recalling the power of the electric storm that had just passed overhead. Then, guided by how the oils and acrylics come to sit on the canvas, by layering, carving, and stripping back, she paints her vision.
British artist Jessica Zoob describes her style of painting as contemporary impressionist, a term that seems natural for her work. She paints as she feels, reacting to the light of her environment and interpreting her instinctive reactions to the process of painting. Zoob quite literally captures her impressions on the canvas.
If this describes what impressionism is today, it is possible to trace its evolution back what it was when first conceived in the nineteenth century. To impressionist greats like Manet, Renoir and Monet, impressionism was the artistic effort of painting nature as it happened, of capturing every light beam, every flutter of wind, with quick and deft brush strokes. They would sit outside for hours, sitting inplein d’air, catching what they saw and felt.
This method is still practised by others today, but in this Zoob injects a sense of expressionism, whereby she paints from memory and recollection. The end result, therefore, are scenes that not only represent landscapes as they naturally occur, but scenes that are then also moulded and carved by Zoob to reflect her own moods and ideas in reaction to what she has seen and remembered. They are subjective, express meaning, and contain elements of tactile reality to evoke recognition.
True to its definition, impressionism is reforming. What it means for each new artist is as individual and unique as the nature they endeavour to capture. For Jessica Zoob, contemporary impressionism is atmospheric, sensual, full of energy, and with a hint of celebration.