"I think of myself as a painter who weaves." – Cathy Jacobs
I grew up in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, Michigan. As a young person, I had very little exposure to visual art. My parents encouraged me, however, to draw and paint, even buying me my first set of oil paints when I was only seven years old. Little did they know that these were toxic materials that children seldom get to use. Later, I earned a BFA in painting from Wayne State University in Detroit. I painted for many years, mostly images of people, always thinking about color, mood, and light. In 2014, as a Master of Fine Arts Candidate in Painting at Eastern Michigan University, I had the opportunity to learn to weave fabric. It immediately took hold of my imagination. Through weaving, I found that I could express the full spectrum of colors and moods, but in real 3-dimensional space. Over the course of six months, my art practice transitioned from working with thin layers of oil paint on canvas, to handweaving semi-transparent panels of linen. My current focus is in weaving panels of linen that, when layered together, create vibrating fields of color.
I think of myself as a painter who weaves.
My textile artworks are abstract expressions of my inner life. There is a constant tension between control and freedom, looseness and precision, structure and irregularity. This inner tension is played out with periods of work that are hard-edged and precise, followed by works that are more organic in nature. I work on pieces anywhere from 6 days to 6 months. Daily experiences, thoughts and feelings work themselves into the meaning and expression of each piece. For example, shortly after my mother passed away, I did not want to work with color. It was a way of mourning. After about six months of working only in white, I thought to myself “enough of this white”, and the warmth of color flooded back into my artwork. Perhaps what all of my works have in common is a boldness that is yet delicate, and ethereal.
In the process of making, I always think about screens and the act of seeing through many layers. Metaphorically, screens could be thought of as layers of past memories and experiences, our past affecting how we see our present world. Even in the visual world what is behind always affects what is in front. Seeing the world through fog, looking through long blades of grass, or seeing the sky through the thatched branches of a forest, I find the beauty in these layers.
My art studio is in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I live in Ann Arbor with my husband, Leonardo, who keeps a dreamy flower garden in our backyard.
My artwork is available for exhibition or sale. Contact me with any questions.
I also enjoy giving artist talks.