Summit Right Brain: Watercolor painter uses love of fly-fishing to create artwork | SummitDaily.com

Summit Right Brain: Watercolor painter uses love of fly-fishing to create artwork

By day, Jessica Marie, 29, is a housekeeping office manager at Beaver Run — but the local enjoys spending her free time crafting watercolor paintings of landscapes and fish. The painter initially began dabbling in the arts after taking some classes at Colorado Mountain College — first, taking on acrylics before moving to oils and eventually to watercolor. The final medium is what stole her heart, and she began to take more watercolor classes and mixing that with India ink. The Illinois native is passionate about fly-fishing, which is reflected in her artwork, and picked up snowboarding after moving out to the county from New York 10 years ago with her parents. The Dillon resident is currently attending CMC for a business management degree.

Summit Daily News: How did you first get into art?

Jessica Marie: I've got a friend that lives up here — his name is Mauricio — he was my very first friend when I moved up here, and we both had our artistic inclinations. We started to paint together, and, 10 years later, that's something we still get together and do. He was definitely the real driving force behind me getting serious with painting and helping me boost my confidence with that. He … encouraged me to get started with the Creative Crawl in Breckenridge — we usually set up at the Cool River Coffee House over there and do a little show, and do some live painting. That's the second Saturday of the month we do that. … It was really great in summer, we got a lot of foot traffic — people walking Main Street and that whole area, down by the dredge. It was fun to sit outside — people get curious, you're sitting out painting and they watch.

SDN: Have you ever sold anything?

JM: I've sold a few watercolor pieces. I've got a lady in Florida right now that I'm working on a set of 20 greeting cards for. It's hard because all my favorite stuff ends up — you just want to frame it and hang it up at home. So I'll end up doing that for awhile, let it sit in the house for like six months and then I'll be like, "It's time. It's time to let it go."

SDN: What would you say inspires you?

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JM: Definitely the outdoors … fishing, the serenity of being out on the water and the thrill of catching a fish is one of the big reasons why I enjoy painting trout and fly-fishing lures so much. You can just kind of like get into the painting, and it really transports you to all of that.

SDN: What other hobbies do you have besides art?

JM: A lot of fishing, hiking, hunting, snowshoeing — I snowboard when I can get out. Between working full time and school and doing this, there is not a lot of free time.

SDN: How would you like to see your artwork progress?

JM: I'd like to stay where I am in Colorado — we have no plans of moving any time soon. I'd like to get more involved in the Breckenridge Creative Arts district and be in the Summit County local scene and give people something to take home that can remind them of their time here.

SDN: What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

JM: If you're nervous, just drink a beer and start painting. Just go for it; it's art. There's a different genre for every person's taste in art, and you can't really go wrong if you just have confidence in yourself and let yourself drive. The worst that can happen is you'll end up in your house being covered with all your paintings.