An Interview with Jesse Whittle

October 21, 2017

Tulsa Art Studio Tour

Artist, Jesse Whittle


In conjunction with our Tulsa Art Studio Tour, we sent our Tour artists some questions to gain valuable insight to inspiring concepts and what life as an artist looks like.


Where are you originally from and how did you come to be a practicing artist in Tulsa?

“I was born in Waco and raised in Tulsa. I knew early on that I had an eye for art and design. I went onto study art at St Gregory’s University and University of Tulsa. I live in Tulsa because it’s a great place to live. My parents reside in Tulsa, cost of living is manageable, and the art scenes is thriving and expanding thanks to arts organizations like Living Arts, Philbrook, University of Tulsa 108 Contemporary. As a result of the development of downtown Tulsa artists now have venues for arts education and cultural enrichment.”

 Tell us a little bit about your work and the processes you utilize.

“I paint abstractions in acrylics. My Paintings often refer to landscape or still-life. Color is an important part of my work. I also draw portraits with oil pastels. Each portrait is a recollection of a gesture or facial expression of someone I’ve met real or fictional.”

Are there any people in your life or in the greater art world that have played a role in your work?

“Mark Lewis and Whitney Forsyth at TU have been great mentors. Mark is a great listener. His knowledge of painting is just amazing. Whitney is an incredibly engaging professor her work activates space in an intriguing way. Art advocates Julia Kirt, Stephen Kovash and professor Sheryl Cozad from St. Gregory’s University. Sheryl is so thoughtful and kind. She has been a great mentor. She taught me how to be a professional. I’d also like to mention Rebecca Joskey, who has become a great friend, and studio mate at Urban Art Lab Studios. I have been blessed to share space with such wonderful artists. Last but not least my parents/patrons Steve and Loretta Whittle and my lovely wife Angie Whittle.”

What are some challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

“One challenge I face often is maintaining an art practice while teaching-full time. I often find/or seek inspiration through teaching others so that I don’t need to separate the two practices. For me encouraging the next generation of artists/makers is a performance.”

What is the weirdest thing in your studio and what is its purpose?

“I’m usually the weirdest thing in my studio.”

Is there any advice you’d like to give to someone who is aspiring to follow in your footsteps? 

“No one can step in the same river twice. Be yourself and be grateful to others who spend time helping you and most important pay it forward!”



The 2017 Tulsa Art Studio Tour is Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22, from noon to 5pm each day.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: