Friday, May 9, 2014

today i would like spotlight the artist jacki long

a versatile, prolific and intuitively creative southern california artist i was 

fortunate enough to have met a number of years ago.  she taught me how to make 

a collaged face using paper as your paint.   she has posted to her blog daily 

since she started blogging, that is 652 days ago,  with a piece of art,

her photographs and a little something to bring a smile to your face.  on top of being a well of 

endless inspiration and a delightful, kind person.  

here's jacki

What influences sparked your early interest in art and creativity?

I think I have always been interested in art. I remember adults making a fuss over a drawing I did at age 4, of a kitten walking on the keys of a piano. They framed it and called it "kitten on the keys" and I didn't get it? I did hokey posters in high school, noting creative but it was fun. When I went away to college I somehow gravitated to the Art Department, later having a double major in art & PE.

Did you pursue formal art training? 

I did, my two Aunts flew out from Indiana after I graduated from high school, scooped me up and enrolled me in college in Indiana, paying for sorority and everything. I owe them everything. I earned BS in PE, BA in Art, MFA in Art with a specialty on design. Later continued on to 91 units beyond my masters.

Who where you mentors and how did they serve to support your creative path? 

Sister Corita (Corita Kent) was doing marvelous things in LA when I was in college in Indiana, and I inhaled all I could from the library. I was a huge fan, still am.  Dr. Alice Nichols, a contemporary of Georgia O'Keefe was the Art Department head and was a great influence in her demanding the best from me. More than I knew I had to give. Robert Sexton, Professor UCI, where I got a degree in graphic arts and visual communication. When going through a divorce after a 32 year marriage, I went back to school at UCI to learn the computer. He liked how I had been trained in design and encouraged me to pursue it. Janice Lowry, a fabulous artist and friend, opened me up journalling and to be free to do whatever I wanted. A great gift.

How would you describe your approach to art? 

I think I am kind of brave. I go for it and if it doesn't work, I do another.
Also I really like to play. Like one of my students said, "it's not rocket surgery."

It has been said that you have a distinctive and recognizable style- that one can tell that a piece is by Jacki Long.  Would you agree?    How do you feel about this? 

I hear that so much that I guess it must be true? I hope it's because of strong design, which luckily was beat into me in college. And I hope it's not because it's all the same. By nature, I dislike repetition, so I make a conscious effort to try new directions and methods, while keeping a design that pleases me. I love to get feedback, but seldom get it. I've been told that I seem confident, like I don't need it? If that's the impression I give, then I am a great actress! ;o)

Do you have a favorite medium, subject, style, artist? 

While I do appreciate watercolor, and I did it when required in college,
it is way too difficult for me. No room for error. That's probably why I love collage, and even digital work on the computer. You can fix it when it doesn't work. I had a stoneware/porcelain ceramic business when my daughter was small as a way to spend time with her, instead of teaching and I loved it when I did it. But it became successful and I had to chose. I enjoy abstract in design, but appreciate it all. I think I really butchered this answer?

Of all the various types of art that you use, what do you feel represents the heart of YOU?  Can you explain?

I think most would probably say my journals? I journaled long before meeting Janice, but they were just writing, straight lines and probably blah, blah, blah? Janice made me realize that they can be whatever I want them to be. My 70+ journals are not the pretty type, but they are me at the time I did them, warts and all. I thank Janice for that. When I teach journal classes the students seem to love pouring through the journals and I see them pet, or smooth the pages and it really touches me.   I would also argue that my collage squares are me. I can't describe the pleasure I get from making these small collages. I have recently started to do mail art, so I am using the same techniques but am able to send them off. I like that.

Are there areas of art that you would like to explore?

I still take classes once in a while (Pamela Smith Hudson for encaustics, Orly & Seth) and really benefit from seeing other views and collaboration. Printmaking has always intrigued me, but I'm not sure I am willing to give up the time required. I really enjoy and appreciate a lot of art areas that I don't have the time to pursue.

How does teaching fit into your creative life?  

I have always let the teaching come to me. If they ask, I will teach. This is probably insecurity on my part. I am the same way about the phone. I never call anyone, but if they call I will talk forever. I guess my reasoning is I want to know that they want it. Quirky?  I have 45 years teaching experience, coming from a family of teachers. One thing I am proud of, is that my student do their own work and it looks like them, not me. I feel my strength is in encouraging and providing the way to do what they want. I get great joy from seeing their creations.

Which artists do you admire?  What style of art gets your heart beating?

 Sister Corita. A lot of the masters for different reasons. Advertising art and David Carson. David Choe. Brain-dead, can't think?

Is there a particular manner in which you approach your art? 

It varies. Sometimes I work all day. Often I work late afternoon till very late. I find I like an open span of time, as opposed to short spurts. I can't tell when I am in a groove, until I am there. I was taught to not wait for inspiration, but to make it happen. Sometimes that works. If something is bothering me, making art soothes me. I call it cheap therapy. ;o)

There is so many different supplies available today.a  Do you have favorite mediums, techniques, supplies?

I am admitted paper junkie, and junk mail thrills me no end. Another weak spot is markers! I love them! I am always looking for the perfect one. (And, I think I have it ...Pentel hybrid Technica .06 I bought a dozen, and the Pilot Bravo for bold writing.)

Are there teachers you are interested in learning from? 

I like Jane Davies a lot! I have only seen her videos.  I am on a budget but I like the idea of 
splurging on a trip to Whidbey   Island, or somewhere and creating. 
Katie Kendrick seems appealing.
There are surely more that I don't know. I'm not really in the loop.

i hope you enjoyed this introduction to jacki long today.

enjoy a lovely weekend.



as i do every friday, today i am linking with  creative friends at paint party friday.


  1. Wow! Irene you are so quick! Thank you for this spotlight, I am so flattered to be chosen by you.

  2. Great interview and feature! Jacki is the awesomest!

  3. Great interview. Jacki is a good friend, and she revealed a few things here I didn't know. She is an artist with a very unique style. I love to attend a class when she teaches.

  4. What a wonderful interview with Jacki! I love her work and you showcased it so well. Love what I learned about Jacki that I did not know.

  5. This was a great interview. I agree that Jacki is awesome!

  6. Loved reading this- So happy I got to meet Jacki in person and to have that wonderful journaling day.

  7. Great interview Irene. Enjoyed it very much!


  8. Wonderful interview, and thank you for introducing us to her beautiful artwork! Thank you for visiting and happy PPF!