Two artists featured at Art Access, beginning Feb. 16, bring similar precision to abstract design using different mediums. Eric Fairclough paints with acrylic or aerosol paint on birch panels, while Jessica Springman cuts her geometric designs out of paper using a very sharp knife.
Fairclough is a Salt Lake area native who is completely self-taught. Springman lives in both Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. She graduated from Westminster College, where her art studies focused on botanical illustration.
Both artists take comfort in geometric, symmetrical design. Fairclough says in his artist statement, “Ever since I could remember, I’ve been particularly drawn to symmetry and balance. I have always been very attracted to the aesthetics of symmetry, whether it be in artwork, design, architecture, or anything else I see around.”
Springman, after years of botanical illustration, grew tired of drawing “things” and began to draw shapes instead. She had been working with pen and ink, then decided to see if she could use knife and paper to achieve a similar look. Working with paper as small as 16” x 20” and up to 4’ x 6’, Springman roughly blocks in the shapes, then cuts around them freehand.
Fairclough made a somewhat similar journey. He began making his intricate designs using pen and ink, but then challenged himself to work with acrylic, and more recently with acrylic spray paint and stencils that he cuts himself. He enjoys the aerosol paintings because within the precise symmetry of the design, he gets a little imprecise application of paint. It lends an almost painterly feel to his work.
Springman continues to work in pen and ink, as well as cut paper. In fact, she has an exhibit this month at the John Waldron Art Center on the Ivy Tech campus in Bloomington, Indiana, which includes both ink drawings and cut paper. Her exhibit at Art Access includes 15 pieces that are all cut paper. Some of her work goes beyond pure geometry and includes flowers and birds within the geometric shapes.
Fairclough’s artistic muse was tattoo artist Thomas Hooper, whose work is characterized by the precision and symmetry that Fairclough so admires. “I decided to attempt my own version of it,” he says. After more than eight years of practice, he has achieved a skill level that is both satisfying and liberating. His confidence allows him to be more playful with materials, resulting in a style all his own.
Springman, who recently was inducted into the National Association of Women Artists, has deep connections to the art community in Indianapolis. Yet she looks forward to making Salt Lake City her full-time home, as she is engaged to marry Utahn Christian Hancock. And, yes, her name will change to Jessica Hancock. You can also see Springman’s work in The Art Works Gallery in Cedar City.
We can expect to see more work from both of these artists as they continue to explore and evolve their creative visions.
Eric Fariclough, Jessica Springman, Art Access Gallery, Salt Lake City, Feb. 16 – March 9, Gallery Stroll artists’ reception Feb. 16, 6-9 p.m.
Sue Martin holds an M.A. in Theatre and has worked in public relations. As an artist, she works in watercolor, oil, and acrylic to capture Utah landscapes or the beauty of everyday objects in still life.