“My Philosophy of Art”

by Jackie Stanton


            I realized very early in my life that I was born to paint.  I have always remained faithful to this insight, and today I can say that my single-minded devotion to painting is beginning to show results.  Over the last fifteen years since arriving in Los Angeles, I’ve created and sold over 8,000 pieces, with no end in sight.  I try to paint every day, but even if that is not possible, I spend my time preparing, planning, and envisioning new works.  Much of my time away from the act of painting seems like an extension of painting.  I live my art.  My subject matter derives from what I love and admire in my world.  I could probably say that art is my religion.  It is a personal religion with it own rituals, saints, mythology, and commandments.  Creative spirits like Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, Lennon, Kurt Cobain, and other rare beings inspire me, and add fuel to my own quest. 


            Although I have worked in many mediums, and continue to experiment, I’ve discovered a technique that combines expressive brushwork with silk screening.  By using many different screens, as well as vigorous painting, I am able to balance great freedom with definite limits, and this leads to a personal style.  I believe that originality comes from a skillful and inventive combination of elements.  It’s not so much creating something from nothing, but rather imaginatively selecting a few captivating fragments from the vastness of life, and placing them artfully on a blank canvas.  Each word, each image, has a profound meaning to me, and when I bring them together on a single canvas this manages to intensify, and expand their individual significance. 


Over the years, I’ve attempted to fuse dissimilar subject matter in one painting, which impedes and defies any simplistic explanation.  My work is gradually becoming more dream-like, uniting the logical with the illogical, in an attempt to reveal the entire spectrum of consciousness.  Art must become more mysterious, more evocative.  I am not satisfied with people merely gazing at my painting: it must stay with them, and even haunt them. 


The greatest art has something very strange and magical about it.  One can return repeatedly to it without exhausting the special kind of pleasure it provides.  I want my paintings to have this kind of endlessly bewitching quality, something that causes the viewer to become rooted to the spot.  A painting should do for the eye what a perfect song does to the ear: using a particular sense as a gateway to the mind and soul and remaining there, as it becomes one with the person. 


If people aren’t as swept up and hypnotized by art as much as I am, then I feel it is my duty as a contemporary artist to try and remedy this situation.  I do everything possible to elevate painting to new heights for our present culture, and give it the supreme value that it once had for earlier, even prehistoric, times.  I think the importance of painting can never be over-estimated, and I’ve spent my life proving this truth.