Anna Jaap received her BFA from Lipscomb and began as a printmaker before turning to painting and drawing. Today she employs a combination of these disciplines as she lives and works in Nashville. Although her work is fluid and constantly changing, they are all united by their reflection of the natural world and element of beauty.
Jaap’s newest series, Graffito, reflects intimacy of hand-written text. Each work is layered with repetitive writing to create woven environments akin to nests and forest floors. Inspiration for the series was drawn from the intimacy and connection that is inherent within hand-written texts. She explains, “I cherish letters and know the handwriting of people close to me as well as I know their faces. I’d been exploring ways of creating pattern in my work, and one day it came to me – this idea of layering script into organic color fields. So intimate and universal, all at once. It took my breath away.”
Each painting typically begins with a word, phrase, or poem fragment relating to nature. Color plays off of the text and Jaap achieves a visual balance of color, forms and gestures by way of conversation with the canvas. Because each layer is thin and transparent, every mark and gesture is pivotal to the final piece. Whereas her previous series have dealt with botanical and organic forms in a literal representative form, Graffito explores pure emotion and pure beauty.
When Jaap is creating art, time slows down and she is able to step outside herself. She describes the time in her studio when everything comes together as “pure magic”. Ultimately, Jaap loves sending something beautiful and nurturing out into the world and wants the viewer to be able to wrap themselves in something precious and simply be. Her work is a fearless tribute to all things beautiful, and viewers are reminded that beauty is not only an enjoyable element in our lives but also a fundamental necessity.