Meet Jessie

July 16, 2015

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This following blog post was written by Art Focus Oklahoma contributor Olivia Biddick:

Meet Jessie

Jessie Mahon is an artist in many ways. She is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s School of Drama, where during her incredible senior year she stared in and directed Jason and Julia, played Marmee in Little Women and Alma in Summer and Smoke. Throughout her acting and collegiate career, she has been able to work on her other art form—painting, sporadically. Both painting and acting came to Jessie humbly in high school through art classes and musicals (her first audition featured a “Star Spangled Banner” solo, complete with a voice crack.) But now as a New York-bound post-grad, she can devote some serious time and attention to her style as a painter, as well as an actor.

She currently supports herself primarily as a commission-based artist. According to Jessie, making the decision to become a full-time artist had her feeling, like with acting, a little apprehensive. “It’s scary to not know exactly when your next job is,” says Jessie. Every artist struggles with the vulnerability of “owning” their craft. For Jessie, especially as a commissioned-based artist, “owning” her artistry means determining her art’s “worth” most.

Painting upon other people’s requests could seem uninspiring, but for Jessie, it is an opportunity to get to understand someone better. “Because I’m lucky enough to paint for them, I get to know something detailed and beautiful about that person that makes them who they are,” says Jessie. Her style is always clear in her work, whether it’s a portrait or a pet project. Distorted faces, with closed eyes, is a striking signature of hers:

“You know how you always hear “the eyes are a window to the soul”? While that may be true, I like to paint images that let people appreciate the structure of the face without immediately focusing on the eyes. I also like exploring linear structures. Lines are so powerful. All of my paintings—regardless of whether they’re of a face or not—have some sort of linear movement.”

Jessie will soon be performing in the tragic comedy, Crimes of the Heart, at the OU Lab Theatre. It will run July 15th through the 18th at 7:30pm and July 19th at 2:00pm. Tickets are $12 and available at the OU Box Office.

If you are interested in a commissioned piece, contact Jessie at jessica.d.mahon@gmail.com.