Jesse Lane . Figurative paintings

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Jesse is a portrait and figurative artist based in Houston, Texas. Since launching his career, Jesse’s provocative portraits -- all in colored pencil -- have captured attention.

Jesse earned a degree in visualization from Texas A&M University. He also studied art in Italy, where he was greatly influenced by the lighting and drama of the painter Caravaggio.




In my art, I try to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. My work captures intimate moments and gives glimpses of an inner private world… providing a window to our own introspective thoughts and mystery. My drawings capture emotions and stories wrapped into a single instant. These stories are open-ended. I want the viewer to create the narrative, to feel the power and vulnerability of that unique moment. My aim is to ignite the imagination and touch the viewer’s soul. I want to render a single moment so clearly and completely, you’ll want to share the experience as much as I want to show it to you.


I call my body of work “Anatomy of Light.” My figures emerge into light and disappear into darkness… both literally and figuratively. Black backgrounds isolate the figures, putting them in their own world, the world of their thoughts. Nothing is there except what they’re feeling. Water is often a companion to my figures. I’ve placed my subjects in the rain, in the shower, in steamy mists… sometimes soaked in perspiration. Water is something we experience every day in many ways. It’s vital to life, just as art is vital to mine.


I paint my images… with colored pencil, applying layer upon layer, blending them to create the smoothness and richness of an oil painting. I especially enjoy the beautiful subtleties of skin tones. Because flesh is so organic, there are many colors within it. This fascinates me. Each color becomes richest in it’s own small area. I love to discover colors within color, the ones that whisper their presence. Many hues show through, like gentle splotches on a fall leaf. Finding them is always a treasure hunt. I create my pieces to be bold, to grab people from across a room. I work quite large for a coloredpencil artist, usually about 20 x 30 inches. That size is more work -- I put in at least 200 hours per drawing--but the larger size gives my drawings a louder voice. They simply have to be seen.


I make my images to be timeless. I don’t use props. I don’t even have clothing in most of my work. I want anyone to look at it at any time, or in any country, and connect with it. At best, I hope my work is both timeless and contemporary. If there is a theme, it is personal struggle. This struggle is universal, but also unique to each of us. 






A selection of paintings by Jesse Lane


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