Painting the town: Local artist Jessica Green nears completion of 500 paintings project
By Sadie Hunter
Indianapolis artist Jessica Green is nearing the end of a four-year project.
“Jessica’s Journey to 500 Paintings,” documented in her blog at jessicagreenartwork.com, has followed every painting Green has done for more than three years.
Working off a theory by author Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers,” Green began in March 2013 to complete 500 paintings. The theory states that humans aren’t born with a specific skill, but rather they become skilled by doing the “thing,” in many fields, for 10,000 hours or 500 times.
“In terms of painting, expect 10,000 hours or 500 paintings before you reach a level where you’re consistently proud of your work,” Green said. “Before this, I would sit down and paint, and sometimes it would turn out great, sometimes it wouldn’t. So I was thinking, am I good or not? Will I ever reach a point where I’m really feeling a stride?”
Green recently completed her 435th painting, a scene of Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.
“On the blog, I wanted there to be an honesty and an openness to show my flub-ups, and I wanted people to follow my journey as well to hopefully see the progress,” Green said.
Green said so far her body of work consists of mostly smaller pieces but also includes medium and large pieces.
“My style is known for being colorful. The brushwork is kind of loose and fun. It’s not overly realistic or fussy,” she said. “I want it to have life, a fresh feel. I love doing still life, landscapes, and the Indy urban scenes have really taken off because of their sense of home and place.”
Although she’s always leaned more on the artsy side of academics with music and visual arts, she said it wasn’t until she enrolled in an art class her senior year of high school that her chilhood love or art was reinvigorated.
“I didn’t have a set timeline. I thought it would take three or four years, and it will be done in 2017,” Green said.
MEET JESSICA GREEN
Education: Graduated from Taylor University in 2004 with a degree in art education. Career: Taught at Fortville Elementary from 2006 to 2011. “I was laid off due to some financial changes within the district, but in hindsight, it was a huge blessing.” Has been an instructor at Ten West Center for the Arts, 10 W. Church St., Fortville, since 2011, where she teaches weekly classes, monthly classes for Girl Scout Troops, summer camps and more. Also teaches with Art with a Heart, an Indianapolis nonprofit that teaches art to at-risk children.
Family: Has been married to husband Wes since 2004. Has two kids, Natalie, 6, and Bryce, 4, and is currently expecting.
Online gallery: bit.ly/jessicagreenartwork
Roving Indiana: Indiana’s Premier Yarn Crawl
What: A Jessica Green painting has been chosen to be featured at this year’s 2017 Yarn Crawl, where a skein of special-edition yarn featuring colors from the painting will be showcased in 14 participating shops across central Indiana.
When: Runs from Feb. 24 to March 12
Where: Various locations
Broad Ripple Art Fair
What: Green will be one of more than 225 artists at the Broad Ripple Art Fair.
When: May 20 and 21
Where: Indianapolis Arts Center 67th Street and College Avenue in the Broad Ripple Village Cultural District
Solo show at Harrison Center for the Arts
What: Green will have a solo art show that will consist of pieces featuring urban Indy scenes.
When: Aug. 4
Where: Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis