I explore geographic formations, organisms, and natural phenomena through the medium of acrylic paint. The environment is depicted with macro or micro points of view, ranging from landscape vistas to microscopic details. I observe parallels between seemingly unrelated networks and systems, such as lichen and human neurons. This series starts with observation of reality, through photography and scientific illustration, and becomes abstracted as it is translated through intuitive painting.
Many of my paintings are acrylic on eco-friendly tree-free paper that is made of calcium carbonate and resin. Large brushstrokes contrast with blooms of pigment and layered linear elements. Disorder and the inevitable breaking down of systems are part of the cyclical properties of nature that lead to growth; likewise, my painting process is a form of controlled chaos. My paintings transcend temporality and scale; I depict human neurons on the same scale as lichen or roots. Lichen operate on a much longer geological time scale compared to humans, with some species of lichen living over 1,000 years. Neurons must connect and communicate to keep the mind and body alive. Similarly, lichen is made of a fungus, an alga and often a yeast that work in symbiosis. By acknowledging our embodiment of nature, perhaps we can care for the ecosystems that sustain us as much as we care for our own bodies.
About Jessica Mongeon:
Jessica Mongeon is a professional artist whose acrylic paintings examine systems of nature and environmental issues. She was born in Rolette, North Dakota and currently lives in Arkansas. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Montana State University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Dakota. Artist residencies include Vermont Studio Center, the Anderson Center at Tower View, and the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation. Jessica has shown her artwork nationally and internationally, including juried group exhibitions at The Painting Center in New York, NY, the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts at the University of Alabama, and 203 Art Gallery, Shanghai, China. Recent solo exhibitions were hosted by the Helen E. Copeland Gallery, Bozeman, MT and the Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, AR. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Art and Foundations Coordinator at Arkansas Tech University.