Sunday, December 25, 2011

Master Class 3: Jesse Reno

Welcome to the 5th edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals. More than 130 artists have answered a series of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented in a series of online posts which will run every Sunday.

Style File and Techniques & Tools were the first two projects posted and links to all 23 posts can be found on the sidebar of my blog. The third project, Master Class, continues now...

Participants were asked : 'If you could take a class from one artist from anytime in history, including the present, who would it be and why?'
(Images and links have been added by The Altered Page)
Chapter 3: Jesse Reno

Quite a few of the participants chose artists from the present time, including many who are in our community and who currently do in fact offer workshops. Jesse Reno was one of the choices most frequently picked. 

"I would LOVE to go to a 5 day workshop with Jesse Reno in Mexico" said Jodi Ohl. "His work is extreme, intuitive, richly layered and contemporary. All things I hope my work is starting to become as I grow as an artist. I am looking for a benefactor, collector, or overall dream maker to help me get my wish!"

This was echoed by Patti Edmon who said "I believe my life would change if I had a chance to participate in Jesse Reno's workshop, preferably in Mexico. Jesse Reno, an 'outsider artist' based in Portland, OR, is totally different from me in most every way - life story, style of work, life style. But after watching his creative process I believe he defines artistic freedom, which is compelling albeit elusive."

Sharmon Davidson adds "I had to think about this one for a long time, but ultimately I decided that the artist who best exemplifies what's missing from my work is Jesse Reno. My goal for some time now has been to achieve that sense of childlike freedom - the sheer joy of mark-making that's so evident in his work. Picasso said it took him a whole lifetime to learn to draw like a child, and I think Jesse Reno clearly has mastered that."

Marcia Beckett said "I admire Jesse Reno's free style of painting. I have seen videos of him painting, but would love to watch him in person."

I shared with Jesse that he was among those artists selected and that people were very passionate about and fascinated by his style. He was kind enough to answer a set of questions that I had for him and share his thoughts about his work, his workshops, and himself. 

Q: A number of people who said that they would choose you to be the artist they would want to take a class with used words such as free, freedom, freestyle, intuitive, and joyful to describe your style. Can you speak to this and describe how this sense of freedom developed?

A: my entire process is based on trying things that should work, the idea of destroying to let a piece be reborn, creating from abstractions and random colors guided by intention over direction. searching for meaning and visions in abstraction. changing direction when something feels no longer potent. choosing on feeling as much as visual aspects. not stop till you find meaning and a story that develops from the choices and decision you make throughout the creative process. noting your thoughts. and changing direction when they are no longer relevant. the idea of finding beauty in your mistakes rather than stress. it's about how and why you paint more than what. what should come from how and why. 

if you search for truth and have a meaningful engagement you will create something alive with purpose. this has always been the basis of my process. the evolution has been moving further and further towards finding a deeper connection and story within this act that is part clairvoyance, part magic, part learning, part painting, part understanding as well as an explanation of self growth and purpose.

Q: Is there a dream workshop that you would give if time/money/location/materials were unlimited?

A: i'd love to teach a workshop somewhere near or among ancient ruins, relics, etc. maybe on site of an archaeological location or maybe a workshop with day trips to the natural history museum or other anthropological museum. this is my biggest inspiration and connection within the art i create so it would be nice to draw a firm connection to that for students for inspirational and explanatory purposes. it is also my dream to exhibit in an environment like this or alongside contemporary native aboriginal artisans.

Q: How would you answer the same question...what artist (past or present) would you want to take a class with?

A: i'm not so interested in classes as i am very content with my path passion and creations. i would love to collaborate and create with the person who encouraged me to paint in the first place - chris giordani. his process and ideals are very similar in his work, his ethic and ideas, tons of emotion and expression in his work. when i first started painting we would collaborate or work in the same space 3x a week for a good year. the energy was just tops. it's not that i feel there's nothing to learn i just feel that inward is the direction of truth and personal growth. this is what i teach in my workshops and this is what i seek and at this point i don't really want to be distracted from my current path. as i'm chasing it like a fever everyday.

To learn more about Jesse, you can visit his website or blog. You can watch him create (a treat if you never have) here.

Thanks for taking the time Jesse to share these thoughts with the readers of The Altered Page. 


lyle said...

seth, this post was the best christmas present you could give me! I have admired Jesse reno's work for some time and have said too many times oh, if I could relax enough to paint like that!if any of your readers are contemplating taking a class with him I would highly recommend going to the Hacienda in Mexico. it is wonderful, the town is interesting and the area where the classes are held is perfect. outdoors, big tables, running water 'blue skies but an awning where you work. food is good and the hostess very nice! we took a week long class there with lynne perrella and anne bagby which was at the top of the list of best things I've ever done!

Maureen said...

I am not familiar with Reno but because of this post I will be looking more closely into his work.

Reno's use of what appear to be symbols (e.g., the eye, words), which must hold some meaning for him, is fascinating. He reminds me a bit of Basquiat but I like Reno's work more.

I've been to a number of shows of so-called "outsider" artists. I always come away with deeper appreciation for the sense of color and intuitive drive that impels these artists to bring what's inside out and alive on the canvas.

I appreciated your interview with Reno and his honest, articulate response about the path he has created and where it is taking him. Particularly noteworthy is his statement that art is his "search for truth" and "meaningful engagement" to "create something alive with purpose." That is one of the best definitions of art-making I've read, and it seems clear that through his art Reno has arrived at enormous self-understanding. How many of us can say that?

Great stuff, Seth!

Merry Christmas.

Patti Edmon Artist said...

Love this - I had a feeling I was far from alone in my admiration for Jesse Reno! And this post comes at the perfect time, as I look to continuing my quest for artistic freedom in the new year!
Happy Holidays!!

Patti Edmon Artist said...

p.s. thanks for the comments about my husband's work - he's a bit of an outsider artist himself:)

ArtPropelled said...

I agree with Lyle.... a great gift this Christmas day! I too would love to do a workshop with Jesse Reno.

Have a wonderful day, Seth!

Lee Anne said...

Seth, Merry Christmas! Again you have shared something amazing! We must be on the same wave-plane. Last week I had contacted Sam @Hacienda Mosiaco to sign up for Jesse's class, as I will be back in Mexico for the winter...thanks for reminding me to get my act and art supplies together! I also followed up with your post about freeArt and actually got them in the mail in break from all the crazy Holiday stuff. I received the sweetest email from the publisher of Cloth Paper Scissors asking me to submit something!! Just the kick in the behind I needed!! I want you to know how much I so appreciate all you do for those of us out here in blogland/facebook. Blessings to you my friend y muchas gracias!

Robert said...

Wonderful stuff! I am another person, unfamiliar with Jesse Reno's work, until today! The words: WHIMSICAL, REFRESHING, and INTUITIVE come to mind when viewing these pieces! I love, of course, the amazing use of color, here, and the crazy--often subtle-- connection/disconnection he has going on between figure and ground in many of these pieces. It's a delight to suddenly be made aware of an artist, with such amazing presence, of whom I knew nothing. Very much enjoyed the brief interview, as well. Anxious to investigate Reno's work, further. Thanks, Seth, for the intoduction!

Bill said...

Holy mostaccioli! He's awesome, and I've never seen his work before.

Pam McKnight said...

Great Post... Just yesterday I was showing my daughter Ricë Freeman-Zachary's book "Destination Creativity" and we were perusing the section that highlighted Jesse Reno!

mansuetude said...

"i'm chasing it like a fever"

i love this attitude. great post. Jesse Reno's Got it.

Happy New Year to you and The Altered Page

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Thank you Seth...this young man is opening and guiding our hearts to visualize and create our journeys. Thank you dear friend and Happy Merry Christmas and Hannukkah and Happy New year to you! Peace, Mary Helen

Roben-Marie said...

Hi, Seth! I was not familiar with Jesse prior to reading your post! Wow! His work is amazing and I will certainly explore his work further! Happy New Year to you! :)

Jodi Ohl said...

Hi Seth, I apologize for not stopping over sooner to see this fantastic feature of one of my favorite artists. And added bonus was his refreshing answers to your interview questions. It's taking me a long time to understand that painting is a constant processes of decision making and reevaluating your decisions each step of the way and the necessary bravery it takes to go back and rework some earlier decisions...and the final piece could never be as rich and vibrant as it becomes if you weren't brave enough to push forward. Jesse inspires me to keep pushing, be brave and to make meaning out what comes from the heart. :) Hope you had a great holiday!

donna joy said...

Love his work! I didn't pick him as the answer to this question because i figure that he is living (as am i) so there is always a chance to actually take a class-i love how he just gets right in there and gets his hands dirty-and creates.

Hagit said...

Jesse Reno would also be my choice, I'd absolutely love to learn from him, and since I don't live in the states, that could take some time, so thanks for this interview, and I'd also like to add that this link gives a great summary of one of his classes: