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Art & Life with Jacquelin Nagel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacquelin Nagel.

Jacquelin, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have been drawing, painting, and trying to create things since I can remember. I can still recall some of the crafts I did in preschool because I thought they were so cool. My very first painting class was in 3rd grade, at Kirk Miller Art Studio in Old Town Tustin. Class was every Tuesday, so Tuesday’s quickly became my favorite day of the week. In high school, I went through a difficult time and had to transfer, which ended up being a blessing in disguise. My new school, Orange Lutheran (OLU), held art to a higher standard and had an amazing art program. I realized that art was something I could actually pursue. I started to dive into my practice and take everything more seriously.

Art slowly but surely became my life. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and drawing from Loyola Marymount University. I had the honor of learning from incredible instructors and mentors that pushed me every single day to limits I did not know existed for myself. DJ Hall, Jane Brucker, Han Dai-Yu, and Cynda Valle have played tremendous roles in my personal growth as an artist and continue to support me to this day. I plan to continue my studies and hope to receive my Masters of Fine Arts in painting from one of the top programs in the country.

I don’t know my life without art. I don’t know how to stop creating. I don’t have a plan B. Art has gotten me through every difficult time life has thrown my way. Over time, I have learned the only constants in my life are God, family, and art. It is a part of who I am. I have been blessed with so much and such a good education I feel compelled to do something amazing with my life. I strive for my goals every single day and I know one day my hard work will pay off. God’s plan is crazy, and I am really excited to see where it takes me.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I create large, figurative oil paintings utilizing a glazing technique used by the Old Masters. I build up many layers of translucent paint in order to create the most saturated and luminous colors possible. I take advantage of the connection between drawing, painting, and photography to explore a surreal world of photo-based figurative works. My work uses the figure to reveal personal wounds and battles I have overcome. The paintings are metaphors that help me to be at peace with who I am and what I have experienced.

I use figuration to explore the relationships between the physical world and the emotional world; the real world and fantasy world; my inner self and my outer self. These relationships are emotionally charged, mysterious, and unexpected. It’s as if I am blending multiple “realities” seamlessly onto canvas. In many of the works, magnification of the face or a section of the body creates a sense of ambiguity.

I enjoy capturing the undervalued beauty of the human form. I want people to be amazed when they see my work. I want people to see something they didn’t expect, something out of the ordinary. Life can become so boring and mundane so easily, I want to show people something unique and unfamiliar.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
I think a big part of our society looks down on artists. A large majority of people automatically assume if you are an artist, you must not be intelligent. They assume you chose art because your brain can’t do anything else. Or they assume the odds of you creating a lucrative life for yourself in art is extremely slim. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been looked down upon when I answer the questions, “So what do you do?” or “What’s your plan?”. I think if people could stop limiting artists and encourage them instead, we could see big changes in our art world. An artist’s mind is unique and deserves to be respected.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can see and support my work by following my Instagram account ( @jackienagel_art ). I also have my work on my website and on Society6.

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