Jascha Owens is a 2013 MFA graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art's Hoffberger School of Painting. He received his BA in Art from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2008. Owens has exhibited his work in Baltimore, Maryland and Portland, Oregon where he also wrote for critical art blog PORT.
Patterns are funny things. They often appear simple but quickly become complicated. Their scale fluctuates depending on whether one looks at a unit, a shape, or everything all together. What is the origin of pattern? We are always discovering new patterns and attempting to categorize them. I start each painting with a simple set of constraints. The composition of the painting is dictated by the dimension of the canvas, the scale of the pattern, and the rules that govern the pattern. Using these limitations I work the unwieldy material that is paint. Its unpredictability stays bounded by abiding by my initial conditions, allowing me to focus on the act of laying the paint. At the outset there is an awkward excitement in laying the first marks. When painting the pattern I become acutely aware of its oscillating nature. Shakiness turns to familiarity as one gets used to the angles of the wrist. At some point the pattern loses autonomy and becomes an extension of my body. As when chopping wood, one forgets about the axe in hand and focuses on the chopping block. When the pattern becomes an extension of my body, new questions come to mind. The act of embodying pattern not only informs but directs my conscious mind, unexpectedly influencing my perception. I become aware that the wall which separates my mind from the physical world is as permeable as the space which separates our stratosphere from outer space.