Jessell Butler’s art is much like the artist herself- bright and inviting, warm and intelligent, with a streak of good humor. She uses art to connect with the world around her and to establish a dialogue with it. Focusing on the visible world, her work is further characterized by a high degree of finish and an attention to detail. In works like Blue Jay Jessell is able to stay faithful to her subject in both overall form and in detail. Witness the strong silhouette of the bird and the feather patterns on its tail. But she is still able to imbue the image with the force of her own vision and her own personality as can be seen in the playful color patterns on the wing, and in the halo-like forms emerging from the watercolor wash of the background. It is not nature, but a true dialogue with nature.
Her concentration on the visible world brings her to scenes from nature, but also to portraiture and other scenes from her daily life. She has done many self portraits, some of them reflecting Jessell just as she is, like Self Portrait 11, and some of them showing the Jessell that lives in her thoughts. In Beautiful Jessell at the Party we see the woman that the artist may sometimes like to imagine herself to be. She is perhaps a bit younger, a bit more elegant, with long, sculpted hair. She is dressed to the nines, complete with glittery dress, handbag and jewelry. The Jessell in the painting doesn’t need a walker or a wheelchair, and probably does not need to worry about disabilities of any sort, though I must admit that Jessell the artist has never let a ‘disability’ stop her either. Indeed Beautiful Jessell shares much in common with our own Jessell, who also is beautiful and fun and sparkling. As always, the artist has gotten it right.
Jessell enjoys working in oil pastel, colored pencil, acrylic and watercolor. She also works masterfully in 3 dimensions, producing sculptural work in stoneware that shares much with her paintings and drawings, focusing on the same subject matter and highlighting the same interests. Her work has been included in many exhibitions and has been avidly sought after by many collectors.