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Jamie Spooner

Artist’s Bio

Artist's Statement

I am an avid lover of animals and people. My inspiration for composition comes loosely from pop artists like Warhol and Liechtenstein who presented reality in a bold way with vibrant colors. I generally paint oversized canvases with larger than life figures of people and animals. I turn these subjects into caricatures. In the animal-related themes, my animals are typically lovers and heroes and in the people-related themes my people are typically flawed, human and real.

Animals, especially dogs, are loving creatures that present unconditional love to their masters. In an age of online dating, shopping and bill paying there is a growing disconnectedness in the world. People don’t interact as much with people as they do computers. And yet there is a yearning for connection. My work presents the larger than life panting, smiling, grinning and loyal companion that never disappoints us. Dogs in particular are heroes because on some level they save us. Their soulful eyes reach out of the canvas and catch their viewer’s eyes. There is love and connection through a giant canine’s eyes.

The paintings created around people are typically people interacting with each other in some way, revealing their very human flaws. Country Roads for example represents the dynamic between an older woman and her husband who is driving. She judges him for his bad driving with a sideways glance and he ignores her, living instead in his own isolation. The painting is a whimsical glimpse of this very real exchange. As humans we make mistakes in relationships and often it is based on miscommunication. While I try to convey connection in the animal-related themes, I often represent the opposite---detachment and isolation in the caricatures of people. The isolation is not obvious and does not have finality like the subjects in an Edward Hopper painting. Instead there is some hopefulness and even playfulness in the interplay between these subjects. They have a chance.

Stylistically I have been influenced by many artists especially Daumier for his line quality and caricature. This illustrative style is represented in my work. I started painting in acrylic and latex, rather than oil because I preferred the fast drying capabilities. However one of the aspects of oil that I like so much is the obvious mood conveyed by sweeping thick brush strokes and layers of paint. I try to push acrylic by doing more blending on a damp canvas to get a more painterly effect like oil. As a result I increased my pace and create many layers on canvas before I am complete with a painting.

Another goal to my art is to give back to the community. I support animals by donating a percentage of my profits to organizations like the Humane Society. The Make-A-Wish foundation is another charity of choice.

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