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Jessica Chism, 32, always has been involved in artistic and creative endeavors, but didn’t put brush to canvas until about five years ago.
Now, inspired by nature and movies, she uses painting to relieve stress and express herself, which is hard for the self-professed introvert.
She has sketched since she was a little girl but learned she could paint after helping with a SpongeBob SquarePants mural in her son’s room. After discovering painting, within six months she completed about 30 portraits, she said.
Chism, of Radcliff, is a beautician by trade, which is artistic in its own way as it requires visualizing something before you create it, she said.
One of her biggest inspirations is movies. Her entire family loves watching movies together. A painting of Kiefer Sutherland in “The Lost Boys” hangs in her home and one her first paintings was from the movie “Legend.”
Lately, she’s been interested in nature. Her obsession with sharks led to a painting of an attacking shark. She put the painting by her treadmill to inspire her to run faster.
Zombies, ravens, monkeys and owls are among her other subjects.
“I wake up and out of nowhere I think, ‘I have to paint this today,’” she said.
But she can’t sit down just any day and paint, she said. Chism gets a fire in her to paint; sometimes it’s to get out emotions that she has a hard time expressing outside of the canvas, she said.
Painting is the vessel to get those things out, a format to give her a balance in the dramatic parts of her life, she said.
She paints until she’s done and uses acrylic because it dries fast and she doesn’t have wait as long to finish painting. Oil paints may look glossier but she likes to do them quickly, she said.
“I think it, I get it done and then it’s over,” she said.
Her supplies are simple. She uses cheep paint and often finds old paintings at goodwill and paints over them to have a large size canvas with a frame already in place.
She’s had a show in Louisville with her movie themed paintings but her art mostly is displayed in the homes of friends and family.
“Mainly I paint them and then I hang them in my house,” she said. “It’s more for me than anything.”
Her favorite painting changes frequently. Currently it’s the painting of the shark because it’s one she’s done recently.
“Every painting I do I notice it gets a little bit more technical than the last,” she said.
She hasn’t seen an artist she aspires to emulate, but there are artists she admires such as Sylvia G, Mark Ryden and others who do something different or whose works are a little on the weird side.
Right now, Chism’s paintings are just for fun. She admires artists such as her friend Jon O’Brien who put their work out there and make a go at it. She’s more introverted and doesn’t take compliments well when say her her art is good.
Chism’s mom, Letty, might be her biggest fan. Letty admires how Chism can see something and instantly paint it. She does the same thing with music on the piano and drums, Letty said.
“It would take me years to paint something but in an hour or two she has a huge beautiful picture,” she said. “You don’t get that every day.”
Letty is proud of her daughter in all she does, especially being a good mom to her two children, who also show an interest in art.
Her daughter might not like to hear praise, but her mom is proud to compliment her work because of what she puts into it.
“She puts all of herself in her paintings,” Letty said.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or email@example.com.