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At Sum­mer’s End

Jes­sica Gor­don has al­ways been a pas­sion­ate per­son. She’s chan­neled that pas­sion in many ways, in­clud­ing eques­tri­an­ism and scuba div­ing, but it was only af­ter hav­ing chil­dren, and look­ing for a cre­ative out­let to ex­press her­self out­side her care­giv­ing role, that she first picked up a paint­brush. Her first solo show, At Sum­mer’s End, will be on view at Robert Lange Stu­dios in Septem­ber.

As she only started painting se­ri­ously about four years ago, Gor­don con­sid­ers these paint­ings as part of her “col­lege years.” “I’m still in my ex­per­i­men­tal phase,” she ex­plains. “Be­ing cre­ative, fig­ur­ing out what I’m com­fort­able painting and what my themes, my sub­ject mat­ter, my style will be.”

The works in the Robert Lange show re­flect a spec­trum of dif­fer­ent moods and ap­proaches, but they all rep­re­sent feel­ings from Gor­don’s re­cent sea­son of life. “They’re bit­ter­sweet,” Gor­don de­scribes. “That’s why I ti­tled the show At Sum­mer’s End. It’s the end of some­thing, but the be­gin­ning of some­thing new. It’s beauty and joy and pain all mixed to­gether.”

In For the Weary, the sub­ject is al­most com­pletely sub­merged in wa­ter. She says, “It was re­ally hard to choose a ti­tle, be­cause I didn’t want to steer with ti­tles. But I re­al­ized it fit—it’s a lit­tle like a card, or a hug. Some­thing that says, ‘This is for you.’” Gor­don hopes

that when view­ers see the woman in the painting, serene as the wa­ter over­takes her, they will be re­minded that even in times of heart­break or over­whelm­ing sit­u­a­tions that they are not alone. “Every­one can re­late to those feel­ings,” she says.

In­spired by an im­age that caught her eye dur­ing the photo shoot Gor­don con­ducted for For the Weary, she has be­gun a series of paint­ings of legs. En Pointe fea­tures a bal­le­rina’s legs in the clas­sic ballet po­si­tion, while For Kicks de­picts its sub­ject in jeans and a grungy pair of Con­verse. Gor­don says, “They are more light­hearted and graphic, in a way...I don’t want to do the same painting over and over, but I can see hav­ing fun and ex­plor­ing the end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties within this theme.”

At Sum­mer’s End will open with a re­cep­tion Septem­ber 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. and re­main on view through Septem­ber 27.

1For the Weary, oil on panel, 20 x 30"2In Bloom, oil on panel, 24 x 18"3En Pointe, oil on panel, 10 x 8"4This Way, oil on panel, 9 x 12"

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