Jessica Bartlet: Backyard Wilderness
While conservation may be a distinct side effect of the observation of wilderness, to Jessica Bartlet, painting may be another side effect. To find a wilderness, one may need to look no further than one’s own backyard. Bartlet’s debut solo show at First Street Gallery gives us an energetic and vivid glimpse into how she experiences and cherishes wilderness by simply looking into her backyard. On what used to be farmland in Northwestern Connecticut there are houses set into a gash in the natural hillside. Despite the untamable wildness of this hillside, Bartlet’s paintings expose something very beautiful about the indomitable reclamation of the hill to the wilderness. Bartlet has been faithfully observing, documenting, and experiencing nature’s ebb and flow through her backyard for the last 4 years. She paints loosely and fluidly feeling the surge of plant life and the destruction caused by weather. Her brushstrokes and use of natural color convey a confidence and urgency for remembering moments that are as fleeting as the north wind whipping through the landscape in the winter. The surface treatment of the paintings and the window-like characteristics of diptych’s and triptych’s allow viewers to see Bartlet’s innate desire to understand, love, and preserve nature, as she observes her own backyard wilderness.