Dark, whimsical, and beautiful. Jamie Brown‘s paintings of broken dolls are the reflections of her insightful take on life.

Hi, Jamie! Will you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in the Northwest. I am originally from California. I am certainly a hobbyist. A lot of my spare time is spent either painting and crafting or out hiking in nature. I am an amateur birder and gardener. I have a passion for Botany and Natural Science.

I noticed that you currently have your works displayed at Brickhouse’s Gallery (in Vancouver, WA, USA) till the end of April 2014. Will you tell us more about the show?

My show is called “Garden of Lost Dolls”. My series is a mildly dark whimsical story of what happens to these perfect idolized reflections of ourselves (dolls ) once beloved and treasured become forgotten and left behind. I imagined what if they woke up to a life with no context, like a child. Which is why my dolls look lost, confused, or disconnected. I chose to leave them to the elements, where most forgotten things are laid to rest. I feel all things will return to nature, broken down in one form or another, us and all of our creations.

“Valia” – meaning “Creeping Vine” was the first [painting in] my “Garden of Lost Dolls” series. I wanted to play with movement and I really liked the outcome. I wanted to relay confidence, even though things are changing and parts are missing to keep going and accept change.

What got you interested in art?

I have always been exposed to art on both sides of my family. I feel there was always an inkling. I really took off when my grandmother showed me how to make my own paper dolls and fashion for them. I had so many costume designs. I was also heavily into Sailormoon, and was captivated by how beautiful I thought it was. I started drawing the characters, and making my own. I feel that is where part of my style comes from, and most likely my subject matter.

“Lily” from my “Garden of Lost Dolls” show represents hollowness – both emotionally and physically – and a want for something to love and cherish, maybe even on a selfish level.

How long have you been painting?

I have always dabbled, I got really serious about it in middle school, and more actively pursued it in high school. Pretty much everything after that is self taught.

What would you call your style?

I honestly have no idea, I am always at a loss when I try to categorize it. It’s a form of illustration, with lowbrow and pop surreal influences. I suppose?

“Eat Cake” is a near literal image of how something like addiction for instance is so bad and it’s damages can be seen by all, and has been seen by all, yet it somehow still drives one mindlessly to destruction.

What inspired your works?

I am very influenced by nature and beauty. I’m stuck on plants and flowers right now, I want to branch out to birds and insects. I have a few series formulating in my head. Otherwise it’s fashion, textures, and color combinations. I try to tie emotional and philosophical concepts when I can.

“Delicate Disposition” – One of my more recent pieces, and also part of my show. I wanted to portray a sense of calm confusion. Sometimes we are lost and don’t know whether to go this way or that. Some of us can get caught here, and become dangerously comfortable in never choosing a way to go.

Is there an artist you relate to?

From what I see of their work, I feel I have subject matter tastes similar to Jennifer Healy. I really love Kukula‘s style and use of fantasy. I relate to artists that are more in that realm of art making.

“Of Nature” [This piece is] inspired by golden hues seen in the dryness of summer. She is a nymph of sorts representing the look and feel of the season.

Can you remember one of the first things you painted? What makes it memorable?

I remember going to a painting class with my grandfather I had to have been 7 or so. We used watercolor, which was special to me because they were in tubes. Everyone did a painting of a barn in a field with corn and other plants. I remember it so well because of how comfortable I felt while painting. I had full confidence that I could do this; Granted it was far from realistic when I was done, I was pretty happy with what I had done. It had impressed the instructor even (for my age). I think I still have it somewhere.

“Keeper ” – Jamie Brown’s current work in progress

What are you working on right now?

It’s a piece called “Keeper”. This is not a completed piece but a peek at something that I am about to release.

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Jamie! And best wishes for your show.

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