Featured Artist: Jessica Durant

Thursday, September 15, 2011  at 6:58 AM
Jessica Durant is an artist well known for her fashion illustrations, but I am in love with her travel paintings.  She captures the skyline and feel of a city in her watercolor city silhouettes and the rich colors that she uses saturate the page.  I had fun finding out more about her history with art in our interview!

One Night in Rome by Jessica Durant

What is the first piece of artwork you remember making as a child?

For as long as I can remember I have been drawing people. Since I was about three, that’s when I started drawing. That was and is the subject I will always be constantly working on. 

Do you most enjoy sketching from your imagination, from a reference photo, or from life? Which one do you do the most?

 I love using a bunch of reference photos and combining them with my imagination. I try to put my own twist on things, especially when I’m using a photograph.

A Day of Rain in Paris by Jessica Durant 

I know several young aspiring artists. Do you have any advice for a beginning artist? 

Practice makes perfect. So clich√© but oh so true.  Always try to be on the lookout for new techniques, mediums and just have fun with it all. Be true to what you want to create. If you love what you’re creating, chances are someone else out there will love it too. 

Do you have a favorite color to paint with?

Cobalt blue.

Do you travel at all? If you do, is there a particular subject that you tend to paint while traveling?

I do! I love to travel. My husband works for Delta, so that means we get to travel for free. I usually take lots of photos during the trip, and when I come home I start thinking about how I can interpret a place I’ve visited into a piece of artwork. It doesn’t always come right away. You can’t rush creativity. It’s either there or not. I always love to illustrate the architecture, that’s what I love most about urban destinations.

London Baby by Jessica Durant

Have you been to all of the locations that you have drawn, or are some of them places that you would like to visit? 

I’ve been to Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Madrid, London and Mexico City. I haven’t been to Paris yet, although I’ve painted it a lot. When I’m painting these places it’s almost as if I’m there. So it can either be reliving an experience of a place I’ve been to. Or it’s about anticipating of going to one of the destinations I’m painting.

What is one place that you would love to paint at, but haven't had the chance yet to do so?

Amsterdam. I need to go there as well. 

Thank you Jessica, for the lovely interview!  You can check out her Etsy shop, Jessica Illustration, for more of her beautiful pieces of art.

Nomadic Vignette is a blog about a traveling girl nomad and her travel sketchbook as she and her husband explore the world.
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