31 Women – March 26th: Ivy Jacobsen
An Interview with Ivy Jacobsen
MKM: Tell me about your childhood, where did you grow up? Were you always creative?
IJ: I spent my early childhood living on a farm, amongst fruit orchards, in the countryside of Kingsburg, CA, in the Central Valley of California. I spent a lot of time outside in nature with my siblings. I moved to Pacific Grove, CA in my high school years, and I became aquatinted with the beauty of the natural flora, ocean and landscapes of the Central Coast.
MKM: Why did you pursue art?
IJ: I’ve always been into art and using it to express myself. It was in 1997 that I took my first painting class and I instantly became hooked; it solidified by major in college. Two years later I earned my BA in painting and printmaking from SFSU and I have not stopped painting since. It’s my passion.
MKM: Where did you study?
IJ: I studied at SFSU and continued taking painting classes at The Art Institute in SF. I also continued taking printmaking classes through City College of SF at Fort Mason Center.
MKM: Did you have and memorable teachers at SFSU and SFAI?
IJ: My memorable teachers include the artist Paul Pratchenko, painting instructor at SFSU, and the late painter Glen Hirsch, painting instructor at SFAI.
MKM: When you’re creating what’s your daily routine? rituals, patterns?
IJ: My studio practice is Monday-Friday from 9am – 3 or 5pm. I treat my studio practice (my art making) as my “job” and love it. Monday is my favorite day of the week, as I get to go back to the studio!
MKM: How has your practice changed over time?
IJ: My practice as changed in that I am more focused now. I have a family and children and I have less time to devote to the studio. However, when I’m in the studio now I’m way more productive and diligent and seem to get more work done now than I did when I had no children. I realize that every studio hour counts, and I try to use the time wisely.
MKM: Do you focus on a specific medium or combination of mediums?
IJ: I use oil and acrylic paint and 2-part epoxy resin in my current work. I layer my oil and acrylic paint in between a layer of 2-part epoxy resin, to give the illusion of atmosphere and depth. Recently I’ve also been incorporating collage into my paintings.
MKM: What art do you most identify with?
IJ: I identify with Japanese art, some Chinese art, and botanical illustrations.
MKM: What inspires you? Other artists, other women from history, your process, a theme?
IJ: I am inspired by nature in all of my art making. Since I am painting from my imagination, I am focusing on my memories of nature and plants. I paint them in my own stylized way, not so much relying on accuracies but more on the essence of different species of plants in the natural world. Painting is a meditative process for me, and I hope that the peace I feel while making my work radiates into the viewer.
MKM: Do you have a sense of connection to a particular woman artist from art history?
IJ: I’m particularly interested in woman artists who balance motherhood with being a full-time artist. It’s been a huge issue in my own life, and I find artists who balance other demands inspiring. Many people expected my art practice to diminish after having children. I can say that it has only become stronger as I find that this career is extremely flexible (my studio hours) and I feel blessed every day that I make a living from my art.
As far as a particular woman artist, I’ve always loved Georgia O’Keeffe and early works by contemporary painter Yvette Molina. Georgia O’Keeffe’s expressions of flowers are so unique and original for their time; they still are! She forged a path of her own that was quite revolutionary at the time.
MKM: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
IJ: Good advice I was given randomly in college by painting instructor Paul Pratchenko. He said that you need to be okay with being alone for long hours a lot in order to be a studio artist. He’s totally right with that one!
MKM: What is your dream project? What can we expect from you in the next year?
IJ: My dream project for 2020 (in addition to my solo show in March at Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle, WA) is to find more representation from a highly respected gallery.
Ivy Jacobsen is represented by Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Seattle, WA and Momentum Gallery, Asheville, NC