Jesse Klassen

Moments of Creation, 2017, Jesse Klassen, 11" x 17", digital images of mixed media


Moments of Creation is a series of ten abstract mixed media paintings inspired by natural landscapes. The works are completed on 11x17 mixed media board using acrylic paint and black ink.  Each image is created through a process of applying and wiping off paint over and over again until an image or outline becomes abstractly visible.  That image is then outlined in black ink, making it more recognizable. However, the self-imposed rule here, is that ink can only be applied in direct relation to the paint, being careful to follow the lines and structures already determined by the paint.  In essence the paint is deciding what it's going to be. 

Moments of Creation was created as a continuation of a theme I’ve been exploring for the past few years. The goal is to depict a landscape that is in the process of being created by God. Color has been applied, some shapes and forms are recognizable, and the structure of what it is going to be has been outlined. However, it’s still not yet a completed perfected landscape, only a taste of what it’s going to be.  The images have been organized in order from most abstract to most recognizable to emphasize this process of being created.

Humans are familiar with what our world looks like. We recognize a tree as a tree, an eye as an eye, and the ocean as the ocean, but what if we were seeing these things for the first time, like a child? C.S. Lewis wrote a series called The Space Trilogy, where in the first book the protagonist finds himself looking upon a strange alien landscape, only it’s so alien that he can’t recognize any of its features for what they are.  His senses are overloaded with shape and color as he tries to identify what he’s looking at.  Only over the course of weeks does he begin to grow accustomed to the landscape around him. Recognizing its features as that planet's version of trees, clouds, mountains, and waterways.  C.S. Lewis likens the senses of this character to that of a child looking on the world for the first time, unable to make sense of the array of color and shape.

It is my goal to achieve something similar in this series of abstracted works, where at first glance, many of them appear to be little more than a mess of paint and line on a white page. As you view and analyze them, their design and recognizable features start to make sense in your mind; the abstract becomes less alien and more landscape.

Jesse Klassen