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Peterborough Artist Jessie Pollock Receives 2022 Ruth and James Ewing Arts Award

Petrichor 7 - 24x30 inches cold wax medium and oil w 3 stones by Jessie Pollock©2021
Jessie Pollock at the 2022 Ruth and James Ewing Arts Awards where she received an award for 2-Dimensional Art.

(Keene, NH) Oil and encaustic artist Jessie Pollock of Peterborough is one of 14 recipients of the prestigious 2022 Ruth and James Ewing Arts Awards. Pollock’s category is Two Dimensional Art, one of nine categories that was honored this year.

The awards, named after the former owners of The Keene Sentinel and in recognition of the couple’s support for the arts, were presented on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at a ceremony at Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College.

Jessie Pollock at the 2022 Ruth and James Ewing Arts Awards where she received an award for 2-Dimensional Art.

Pollock began her artistic life as a sculptor, then as a painter of portraits, still life, and landscapes during the last 20 years. She has found inspiration in landscapes important to her, places in New Hampshire where she lives, in Florida where she has spent winters, and in Italy’s countryside, which she has visited. 

View the intro, interview and Jessie receiving one of the 2022 Ewing Arts Award for 2-Dimensional Art.
Vanishing Landscape Red with 3 Stones, 60x42 inches, oil on panel with wood beam, by Jessie Pollock©2021

Pollock’s series, Vanishing Landscapes, highlights a recent body of work that focuses on the region surrounding New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock, the iconic peak not far from her studio that has attracted artists and writers since the 18th century.

Inspired by our changing climate and the mysterious energy in stones, Jessie’s Petrichor series is a new chapter in her homage to rural landscapes that are vanishing every day. To learn more about Jessie Pollock’s work and career, visit www.jessiepollock.com.

Image: Vanishing Landscape Red with 3 Stones, 60×42″, oil on panel with wood beam, by Jessie Pollock©2021 

Hummingbird encaustic 48x36 inches by Jessie Pollock©2018 Corr Image

The Ruth and James Ewing Arts Awards, now in their eighth year, recognize excellence in the arts from the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont. More than 100 local artists and arts organizations have been honored over the years. More than 50 submissions were made this year from which the winners were selected. 

Information about other Ewing Arts Awards categories and 2022 winners can be found at the Keene Sentinel.

Image: Hummingbird encaustic 48×36″ by Jessie Pollock©2018


Frozen Charlottes

Frozen Charlottes one 36x30 Cold wax oils on panel Antique Porcelain dolls painting Low ResThis winter I returned to my Vanishing Landscape Series. Taking old panels out of the basement, I reworked them or finished them depending on how developed they were.

I used to attach small pieces of rust and copper to my panels to add sculptural elements to the paintings. Cleaning out my studio closet, I came across these dolls I had bought years ago. Usually the pieces of metal I used were more abstract but the broken elements of the dolls put them in another realm.The Frozen Charlotte panel has small antique porcelain dolls attached and inserted into a small enclosure.


I have never before put figures in my work but I liked these suggestions of the people that lived on the open spaces, tamed the land and made them farms, built the barns and toiled so arduously in this rugged part of the country.

New England is not easy even in this modern day. And I think it resonates with the silhouette drawings I did of people while in Ireland 2 years ago.


Recap of Vernal Pools show

As usual, the turnout for the show in Stowe VT was excellent. West Branch Gallery does a stellar job with their openings. Live jazz, good food and drink and lots of people interested in the arts. Also, as usual, not too many sales but they seem to come later. I did sell one nest to repeat collectors which is always nice.

150 rez stone

My next show will be in the coming summer months. Though I am not woking yet due to my hip surgery, I ruminate on what I would like to work on. I sense a need to combine encaustic and cold wax. I am still quite pleased with the ‘Amorphous Stones’. I am hoping to combine the cold wax moss paintings with the stones. Why not? That’s where one finds some of the most enticing moss. During my months of recovery I have been photographing some areas of moss when the sunlight hits them. I put some of the images on my dining room table and started to see a large wall piece of various disparate images all coming together. Mixed in are some closeup photos of stones with their monochromatic colors, cracks and fizzures.


Wedding Dress

This morning I finished the third of my Dance Me to the End of Love series. Another 60 x 30 inch piece. Several days ago I thought I was nearly done but then I brought the original dress out and saw that what I had done was just a big blob of white instead of having any of the true character of the dress. The beauty of wax is to keep adding and erasing layers and it only makes the piece better. I look forward to getting the first two works back from the photographer in order to see what is best. Now I am not sure where this leads me. Am I going to continue in the dress series or return to other subjects? Meanwhile, I am hoping two of these will be accepted into the Fitchburg Regional Show. I have never applied before and have no idea what they like. Most institutions are looking for originality these days. They seem to have moved away from representational work unless it is unusual in some way. The mice ate away the bottom of the dress while it was stored in the attic which is why it has the long tendrils. I found the dress so evocative . There was no way I could reproduce the extraordinary lace but I did place a couple of pieces of it in the wax.wed dress 1500 pixelsThe black image transfers are of my own poppies taken during the past few years. I thought the color black instead of red added to the oldness of the piece. Wedding dresses are symbolic of beginnings. Black poppies symbolize the end. The dress is also symbolic of wishes and desires. The rest is up to interpretations by the viewer.


Wedding Dress

This third painting is the last of this series of ‘Dance Me To The End of Love’. Where I go from here I am not sure.

Two of these dresses were given to me. The third one I purchased and wore several times. The most extraordinary one for me was the wedding dress. It had been in an attic for years and the mice had eaten the satin part at the bottom of the dress. Amazingly they did not eat the lace which has to be Italian it is so ornate. What remained was twisted into long tendrils. On this panel I smoothed the areas around the dress and let the dress become more three dimensional. This  image I took myself which does not begin to capture the detail. Next week I will take it to my fabulous photographer who does an amazing job lighting my work so the surface details pop.

Wedding dresses can be  symbolic of so many things like beginnings,  hopes and  desires. A dress in this condition can be symbolic of the reverse, the negative, the failures, endings, forgotten hopes and disappointments. wedding dress


Like the other two pieces, this is 60 x 30 inches on panel. There is something about working this large that allows one to engage with the piece physically.


Dance Me To The End of Love Series 2014

I have almost finished the third painting in my series that I started 4 years ago for my show at Exeter Academy. I pulled the three panels out of the basement last week and saw how incomplete they were. I guess, having done a lot more with wax the past 4 years, I saw where I could take them now.  Two weeks later I am much more satisfied with them. More of a story and more energy, more painterly. The third one is the wedding dress. About 10 years ago my friend Deborah was cleaning out her parents’  house when she found two old dresses from the early 1900’s and possibly from Italy as they were ex-patriots. The black one is mostly netting material and the wedding dress had the most amazing lace one could ever imagine which is another reason to believe it is from Italy. The mice had eaten the bottom of the dress which was satin causing the fabric to turn into long tendrils. I thought it so symbolic of the fleeting frailty of life. And wedding dresses are so symbolic of all the hopes, dreams and wishes of young women most of which are to fade away just like these dresses. When I was working on the dresses for the Exeter show, I was with Russell and we were deeply in the throes of a great love. I had the radio on and Madelaine Peyroux was singing Dance Me to the End of Love which Billy Holliday had also sung. I thought it the perfect title for the dress series.

The black dress and the orange spring dress are both finished. I am still tweaking the wedding dress.

Pollock, Dance Me To The End Of Love 2, encaustic, 2014 spring dress


Sensitive Silence

Is this title a reflection of how I feel about nature? I call this new body of work my white on white stage. Unfortunately it did  not get me into a gallery in Naples. The owners were very enthusiastic about what I presented to them but when they called me their verdict was that their clients really like bright colors. And that is what you mostly see in FL in all the galleries. They were gracious enough to say that they had tried to educate their clients but to no avail. Maybe I will find another outlet. But I did have a wonderful two months in my little bungalow working on the porch almost daily. The weather was wonderful this year even warming up the gulf enough to swim in. It was hard coming home when I knew there was much snow still on the ground. But I had to take down the show at Lawrence Academy and deliver some of it to Stowe. Three days later I drove back up 89 for the opening which was one of the best I have ever attended there. It was the largest crowd they had ever had. I think people wanted  go anywhere just to get to the end of this endless winter. There was definitely a festive air. I spent the night with the gallery owners who know how to throw a good party. Two of the other  guests were people who had taken a year to pay for one of my paintings they had purchased from my solo show last year. He does monumental marble sculptures that sell all over the world and she is a dressage rider. I think the greatest compliment is when another artist buys an artist’s work. Since they live in Burlington, I hope I will see them again.

Spring is so slow to arrive. I have been home for two weeks. I just had to get outside today even though there is still at least a foot of snow in areas around the house. So I went out with my clippers and tried to do some gardening…..dead heading of last year’s plants. My cat Rumi was so happy to have company outside. There is still no aroma of earth  but that may come in another week. At least we were outside.

Friday night I go to the Currier for their first auction in 10 years. One of my paintings will be sold….or so I hope. Rather nerve wracking to be in the audience while it is happening. How on earth did I ever get myself into this?! Well, I hope it sells and they make some money for their education program.

And soon I must get back to work. It’s hard with my kitchen totally gone and the house in disarray. When the dust settles, literally, I will settle into the studio and get back to Sensitive Silence. When I am outside gardening, I do feel the presence of nature in its own silent way.


January Online

My studio equipment was sent off last week in my little blue car on a great big truck. I follow it day after tomorrow and pick it up in St. Petersburg. After a day or so, I will drive on down to Naples and open up my shabby chic bungalow. I will be thrilled to get back to work. It is ever so pleasant to work there as I am on the porch in my jungle. I can hear the birds and feel the warm breezes. Today it is 4 below zero on my hill. Time to migrate!

The show went up smoothly at Lawrence Academy just after New Years. But it was a disappointing opening. They scheduled the opening the night of the school dance so there were no students at all. About 10 friends showed up as the weather was dreadful. Oh well, at least the new work is hanging in a lovely large space for two months rather than hanging in the studio. As soon as I remove the work, I will drive it to Stowe VT for the Spring show which opens on the 22nd of March.

2 Poppies med rez Lotus med rez
While I have no chance to work these days, I am doing the publicity part. I was juried into an online art publication that is sent to galleries and museums internationally. A bit of a vanity press but it can’t hurt. Also posted work on Saatchi Online which has been quite successful for my painter friend Helen Shulman. So, let’s hope, the Muse is waiting for me on Sperling Avenue.


Show hung at Lawrence Academy 2014

‘Sensitive Illusions’ show was hung this morning at lawrence Academy, Groton MA. The space is large, filled with light and airy. Large floor to ceiling glass windows grace the room. The fifteen paintings I hung all looked good. Nothing was crowded. I had at least 5 recent series represented so I hung them on separate walls. I used my usual signage of poetry and favorite sayings. It’s a nice way to start out the new year and my gallery in Stowe VT is already excited about the new work and waiting for it when to show comes down mid March. Seeing the new work hanging in a clean, uncluttered gallery space, makes me appreciate the work I have been doing recently all the more.


2 Poppies med rez
I continue to experiment with my surfaces. Looking to achieve the  look of an old wall or fresco   with a very simple image. And my usual scribbles like a lost language. Opening is Friday 4 to 6 but that often seems like an after thought to me after all the work. However, it’s nice to share and hear peoples’ reaction to my progress….hopefully positive. Happy New Year!


Sensitive Illusions

poppy pod SI 12 x 12

Sensitive Illusions is the title for my upcoming show at Lawrence Academy in Groton. It has been a struggle to complete work in a short space of time. Working smaller this year in order to get more control of the medium. After two years of Sensitive Chaos, I decided to remove the chaos. I felt the paintings were becoming too frenetic. It’s a fine line I walk between wanting to express energy and wanting to express the quieter side of myself and nature. Hoping eventually to be able to do the same in the larger scale I like to work in. This one is Poppy Pod, 12 x 12 inches. I used an image transfer and after layers of clear encaustic medium over the image, I enhanced it with some very thin washes of oil stick. The old rule applies….Less is more.

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