Jackie Winslow: Grabbing attention with color

Donna Fischer

donna fischer | the artist next door | may 2015


Audacious channels of color follow imaginary paths in many of Jackie Winslow's paintings. Confident lines mark the primary colors and bands of bold hues. Alternately, other works of this painter take on a softer, more organic quality. Turbulent waves of blue react to a recent dive, with foam, air bubbles and all else churning around. A bird takes flight, crashing through unforgiving angular forms as if to break free from convention and conformity. Winslow clearly enjoys testing the ways a painting can convey emotion and ideas.

Taking brush to canvas is something that she has always had, as she calls, “a knack for." “It's basically something that I've gotten back into again in the past four or five years," Winslow explains. “It's something that I used to do and I put it on the back burner, and I decided it shouldn't be on the back burner. I never lost the interest that I had in it."

You may have seen Winslow's work at Artstreet or Arti Gras in Green Bay. She says there is one main thing that draws her attention in the world of painting. “I adore color for the fact that I can create something that appears very striking that way and can grab attention. I do some pieces that are very hard-edged, but I've been getting into some pieces that are a little more loose and free flowing. I've been doing some things recently that are a little more out-of-focus in one area and then in-focus in another area. I do adore color and I like things that have a lot of movement and a lot of interest that way."

Her painting, entitled, “Rise," features a bird flying up through box-like forms, not unlike the fabled rise of the Phoenix. “It was a little bit more of an impressionistic piece as opposed to just flat-out abstract. It was an impressionistic version of a bird taking flight. It's basically representing one's desire to break from those things that are barriers in one's life in order to become free."

Inspiration for the acrylics-to-canvas magic she performs comes from sources as ephemeral as the sky, or as commonplace as a television show. “I'll be watching something on TV and I'll notice the set design and the color combination and the lighting. I can be inspired that way."

And when the work is done, it's time for reflection. “That can be very exciting," she admits. “A sense of accomplishment. A test of it is how it holds my attention. Is it something that once I complete it, I need to look at it again? Is it actually drawing me to it? Is it something that holds my attention? That's a very good feeling; I feel like I've accomplished what I wanted to accomplish."

Winslow says she likes to try something new for her shows. “I have a couple different styles that I'm still developing. I'm looking to do something that is a little bit more free flowing. One might look at that and think that it would be easier because it's freer as opposed to something that is very hard-edged and very intricate. It's surprising to find out that it actually can be more difficult to be more free with the paint. It's starting to come around and I'm starting to find my own voice with it. Adding another style can be challenging, yet I want to take it and make it my own style, as opposed to just going back and doing a style that I've always done. I like to offer something different every time I do a show."

What her work means to her usually differs from that of the casual viewer. And it's that new perspective that keeps Winslow returning to the canvas again and again. “It's very satisfying to me personally in just having it in my home." Then, having the art at shows invites feedback and reaction from art lovers of all backgrounds. “It makes me very happy to go and have those conversations and see what they see."

Winslow's husband, Antony, is an artist working with wood. Aside from crafting custom frames for her work, Winslow says having a husband who is also an artist is very advantageous. “Absolutely. He's fantastic. He's very supportive and inspiring. It's something that is very important to both of us. There was a time for each of us when art was put on the backburner and once we got married we decided that just was not okay, and we're both pursuing art again."

You can find Jackie Winslow's art at the Baileys Harbor Spring Fling on May 16, and Olde Ellison Bay Days, June 26 — 28. To learn more go to Winslowstudio11.com.


Donna Fischer is an avid fan of music, film and art. When she's not writing on these subjects you'll find her gardening or snowshoeing around Green Bay.

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