"The works in Meighen Jackson's mixed-media show, composed of ink on various kinds of paper, accented with photographs, foil, and rich swathes of pastel-hued paint, were, at the same time, spare and poetic. Ghostly photographs of grasses and bamboo growing vertically across the canvases were painted on top of thick, luxurious patches of black ink winding through the reeds like calligraphy." She has shown in group exhibitions in Korea, Shanghai, and Los Angeles in addition to Michigan. Her painting "Little Red Boat" is an homage to Katsushika Hokusai and his famous woodcut The Great Wave".
Artist Statement: “Making art is how I think. And recently I have been thinking a lot about how the rhythms of nature–wind through tall grasses, water cascading over rocks, the braiding of river currents – shape and mirror my own internal rhythms. Not a new idea, I know. Nonetheless, I’ve continued down this path because, by attempting to understand and recreate these rhythms– and their associated dissonances - I draw closer to that sense of transcendence and emotional release we humans seem hardwired to desire.
Line is at the core of my art. Line created with an Asian brush dipped in ink and drawn across Asian mulberry papers. In practice, my drawing is a bit like doing yoga or meditation, only a whole lot messier.
Because my goal for that line is to capture the motion of nature, I draw outside, as close as possible (and sometimes just a little too close) to the streams, lily pads, grasses and waterfalls that are my subjects. Some of these drawings I leave just as I made them. Others I glue onto canvas with layers of my photography, colored papers and foil.
Mostly I tear paper. The torn edge introduces an element of serendipity – something I can’t control – and the handmade colored papers – all slightly different - create new colors and patterns as the layers accumulate. In this way, the painting becomes a partner, suggesting new colors and forms that challenge both the artist and the viewer.
Often I work in series of box-like panels. The panels are interchangeable and have images on all sides. You can change their order, hang them separately, or group them as in different patterns. With each new arrangement, the rhythm changes. Traditional Chinese painters strove to create landscapes in which the viewer could wander, sort of short vacations for the soul. I hope these may provide a similar respite.”