Monday, August 10, 2015


The Jerome Artists Coop Opens 
3-Woman Art Expo,  
on Aug 1st

To Scatter: throw or spread loosely over wide area; to send off, to disperse in different directions.
For one trio of Jerome Cooperative Gallery members- Watercolor/Mixed Media artist, Judy Jaaskelainen, Glass Fusion artist, Isabel Mathieson and Traditional Batik artist, Judy Yescalis, the term ‘scattered’ aptly describes much of their creative lives from beginning to end… from idea to production of finished art.  
On Saturday, August 1 from 5-8pm, the public is invited to enjoy opening night of the 8 week exposition, SCATTERED, at the Jerome Artists Cooperative. The expo will feature jewelry and functional glassware, both framed and ready-to frame wall art and cards as well as a delightful adventure in Collaborative Art. Food and wine will be available and Clarkdale favorite, jazz pianist, Janice Paul who is known for her personalized jazz stylings will provide the entertainment.
Judy Jaaskelainen resides in northern Arizona and is an award winning, juried member of the Northern Arizona Watercolor Society. Her other memberships include the Arizona Watercolor Association which has also recognized her work, Watercolor West and the National Watercolor Society. Judy is also a long time member of the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery and is a gallery favorite.
While she is primarily known for her watercolors, Judy has also enjoyed experimenting with new techniques that she has learned over the years, primarily from her friend and mentor, Patty Mikles. Her current works include watercolors, mixed media, acrylics, and collage. A quick glance at a very long list of ongoing ‘Series’ in the Jaaskelainen portfolio reveals her sense of humor, a penchant for political activism and a very ‘scattered’ approach to choosing subject matter: Hands and Feet, Cactus, Booze and Tattoos and Women: toddlers to crones are evidence that her art and her personality are well worth the drive up Jerome hill.
Like many other artists, Isabel Mathieson ‘scattered’ her creative attention for many years while sampling a variety of media, but in the end her heart was won by the “amazing, always challenging process” of Kiln-formed Glass. In an early Stained Glass class, she was introduced to the intriguing process of glass fusing, and what followed was a nine year immersion in classes and workshops from coast to coast- Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida. Isabel continues to attend classes in Las Vegas and has been an active member of the Jerome Cooperative for 6 years.
Isabel is quick to point out that the process of creating in glass is more complex than most people realize. A piece of functional kiln-formed glass art, for instance, requires two or more firings; the more intricate the design, the more specialized each firing becomes.
“It is rather exciting to open a kiln to see if your vision materialized; it feels like Christmas morning when you open that gift you have been waiting for. If it meets your expectation, you are delighted. If it doesn’t, re-purpose the piece. If it is a total failure, it’s back to the drawing board!”
Her collection for the SCATTERED exposition will include jewelry and functional art pieces- plates, platters, candy dishes, business card holders, crosses, and “whatever strikes my interest.”
Friends and colleagues of Judy Yescalis will agree that the term ‘scattered’ appropriately describes this energetic, always-on-the-go Batik artist who is currently living a double life in two states and two cooperative art galleries. More of a hobbyist than a professional, the former high school language teacher never pursued formal training as an artist, though she has taught Batik at Yavapai College, won a variety of awards for her traditionally waxed and dyed batiks in various shows in Arizona and supported her music and travel passions with her art sales.
The traditional Batik process that Judy uses is a complex and extremely time-consuming undertaking that requires a large studio space, much patience and a work station to facilitate each of the major  steps in the procedure: -freehand sketching of design on fabric (from personal sketches or photo), application of wax to fabric design on stretcher bars, dipping fabric in cold water dye baths and -after many repetitions of waxing, dipping, rinsing and drying- the final step of removing all wax from finished batik with a hot iron.
Due to prolonged family commitments in California, much of Judy’s in-studio art production time has been greatly reduced recently, but she is currently working full steam ahead to complete an old dream to create new batiks from her years spent at the University in France and teaching in northern Spain- a dream that remains clear in her mind’s eye, thanks to her European photo and sketch books. Judy Y’s  Jerome  display will also include giclee prints on canvas and unframed work.  
All three artists will be available on opening night to answer questions, explain processes and share artistic insights.