Jessie Banaszak’s canvases make use of bold color, line, shape, and movement that seamlessly expresses the joy of interacting with nature. Inspired by her own experiences with nature as well as her travels to both Ireland and Pompeii, Banaszak’s compositions range from expressionistic landscapes to abstract interpretations of her surrounding world.
In works such as Introspection I and Introspection II, cheerful, contrasting hues are contained within organic shapes defined by crisp contours. Both canvases are symphonic, as the artist’s shapes appear to pivot and dance around each other. Although non-figurative, Banaszak imbues her compositions with a nearly anthropomorphous energy and vitality through movement. Canvases such as Irish Pathway and Pompeii Landscape II depict more naturalistic interpretations of the artist’s travels. Nonetheless, Banaszak utilizes brush strokes that are at once expressionistic and autographic. Here, color is not contained by line; rather, color and line are harmoniously intertwined through the fluidity of the artist’s hand. Banaszak’s scenes are palpably charged with emotion. She explains: “I study the way that nature moves and transforms, and explore these themes in my work, often portraying the positive emotional impact of nature on people.”
Born in New York City, Banaszak received a BFA in both drawing and painting from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Along with the mid-career works of Vincent Van Gogh, the artist is continuously inspired by design elements found in Japanese prints. She quotes: “In many Japanese prints, I feel nature is honored, revered and loved. I also feel this affinity to nature.” Outside of painting, Banaszak supports a myriad of wildlife and humanitarian organizations, including World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, The Humane Society, and The Red Cross. The artist currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.