Artist Jess does it again!

Artist Jessica Käsner, or Jess, as her friends know her. Photos:

Talented Melkbosstrand artist Jessica Käsner is just
15 years old and in grade 10. It’s hard to believe this, but it’s a fact as her birth certificate states so. Her maturity, and the maturity that informs her best paintings, can fool one.

The Melkbosstrand High School learner’s latest masterpiece, soon to be exhibited at The Gallery in Melkbosstrand, is hardly the work of a precocious teenager. July shows a melancholy girl staring at the rain. The girl and the rain have been painted in painterly fashion with neither one dominating the other. The drops, which form a pearlescent curtain over the girl, draw one and add a strange beauty to the sorrowful scene.

Jessica, or Jess, as she prefers to be called, can tell you how many drops there are. Oh yes. She got up at 3 0’ clock in the morning (for many mornings!) and carried the canvas from the corner of the family lounge where she sometimes paints to her bedroom – and there she painted each one painstakingly. About this painting Jess says simply: “I love rain. It is so comfortable to be in. It is a cosy environment.” According to Jess the girl “is melancholy and not completely sad.” And so Jess is keeping her secrets, as well as the secrets of the girl in the painting.

Patience consists of 1000s of dots.

Won medals
In 2015 Jess scooped up a gold and silver medal in the 2016 ATKV Eisteddfod Senior and Grade 9 art categories respectively.

She’ll probably be doing something similar this year, when she enters Patience, her portrait of a horse, done in fine liner pen in pointillist fashion. It is another work of art that took many hours to create, something that defies the instant mindset behind much of modern life. Creation, growth, letting things mature, this Jessica knows instinctively to do.

Enjoys challenges
She shows drawings she did with her right hand, with her left hand, not looking at the paper. She talks about a course in animation she did last holiday, and the drawings she did on a Wacom drawing tablet using a Wacom stylus; and how it challenged her, and pleased her enormously at the same time.

Selling her art is not this artist’s main aim. “Do you want July to sell?” this journalist asks her Saturday morning. She laughs. “I’m secretly hoping it does not sell. I will keep it in my room.”

Her father, Mike Käsner, pauses, as he walks past and hears this. “You can keep it. It will appreciate in time,” he agrees.

Behind us, a painting Jess did of a nocturnal landscape glows with a light that can only be described as a Jessica light. “You must see it at night,” Mike says. But it’s not necessary. The quality of light is even noticeable in the morning sun. Jess plans to study animation art at The Animation School in Cape Town after school but that won’t put an end to her painting. The one goes with the other. Paging through her sketchbook, past glowing nature scenes and expressive pen doodles, she says, “I will never leave painting. It is my passion.”

Jessica’s work will be exhibited at the Art in Session art exhibition at The Gallery, Merchant Walk, Duynefontein. The exhibition starts Friday 12 May.





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