My life as an artist began as soon as I could hold a pencil. As a young girl who had to wear the same dress to school every day of the week, my art making consisted of creating a multitude of paper dolls and their huge, wonderful collections of clothes, but every few months the clothing series was destroyed by my mother who was determined to “clean up” my art drawer. Her actions caused the greatest rages of my childhood but she never accepted the fact that her actions were cruel.
Even now at age 78, in art I continue to seek the surprise, the unexpected, the gift, the discovery, the miracle, the transformation of chaos into a happy landing. Beginning in 2006, I have focused on making monotypes which to me are a particularly suitable vehicle to find, explore and ultimately restore chaotic experiences and risky actions into the stability that I seek in my daily life.
Monotypes are essentially a series of prints one on top of the other. I have used many formats of printmaking and have found the production of multiples to be boring and pointless. A more interesting format of “the unique print” is the monoprint which retains particular elements throughout a series. At the present time, I am making both monotypes and monoprints. To make monoprints, I am printing one carved woodblock in different directions and colors one on top of another. Printmaking with this method is unpredictable, therefore exciting.
I have never understood why people say, “This is my art work.” To me, art is necessary but it’s play. It’s surprising. It’s fun. I think of work as the series of jobs I don’t want to do, like cleaning the bathroom.
Jae Covey Brown considers her art like skydiving into an image that keeps coming closer and closer until it settles into possibly a happy landing. After a career of working as a painter and also writer for newspapers and magazines, as the artistic director of a successful company of puppeteers, and other involvement in arts management, gallery ownership, and teaching, Jae has become a committed printmaker since 2007.
She has a BFA from the University of Colorado in Boulder and subsequently studied etching at the Connecticut Graphic Arts Center in Norwalk, typesetting, paper making and silk screen printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design, silk screen printmaking at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, via a professional artist fellowship, monotype printmaking at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa FE, NM, and new advances in printmaking at the Maine College of Art.