In our ATAS Artist Spotlight series, we take a deeper dive into our artists through their work and the creative process and stories behind them.
Jessica Hagen is a Canadian artist known for her light-filled, peaceful, and captivating oil paintings. Her artwork is influenced by the freedom of nature, brilliance of light, and rustic beauty. When Jessica is not painting, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and hockey. A motto that Jessica goes by is that is is her “privilege to fail” because it means that she is “trying things and growing”.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
“I was inspired by the vision of this organization”
What is your creative process?
Jessica: I love being inspired by the beauty of being out in nature. These moments encourage ideas for my paintings and like to get right to work. I have three young children, so I generally paint in the afternoons while they are playing. Because I have to juggle the busyness of motherhood and being an artist, it takes longer than I would like to finish a painting. However, I find the time of looking over my work throughout the weeks, extremely helpful too.
Which one of your works is your favorite?
Jessica: I feel like my favourites change often over the years but this summer I was commissioned to paint a water scene. The client took a chance and wanted me to use the bokeh style I have been experimenting with. So this was my first commission in this style and also was done on a large scale (2.5 ft x 4 ft). I have also been processing the recent death of my mom, so the journey of this painting was particularly helpful for me.
If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?
What is your favorite piece of artwork that is not your own?
Jessica: Anything by Rembrandt.
What do you listen to while you work?
Jessica: I generally listen to music, such as John Lucas, Steffany Gretzinger, Rend Collective, All Sons & Daughters, Cageless Birds, and Pat Barret.
Why did you decide to become an ATAS artist?
Jessica: I was inspired by the vision of this organization. I have a grandma who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease and would love to help others who have been impacted by it.