I use abstraction in tandem with emotions. Abstraction aids me in synthesizing memories to present time and space. I use emotions and sensations as a guide for the here-and-now and to understand how a person’s presence is mistaken for an invitation, a threat, or a tool. The methodical process of my art-making can span from a short afternoon to years as I shift through new experiences and new relationships. A majority of my materials include painting and drawing often paired with gold leaf.
I feel a connection to Donald Winnicott’s description of art making in his article Playing and Reality. “It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.” My self is discovered perpetually with a deeper intersectional understanding through the act of making art. I am inspired by my family, my art therapy clients, and a variety of artists such as Eva Hesse, Kiki Smith, Janine Antoni, and Frida Khalo. The ever-changing world that inspires me is in constant flux when my pieces are finalized or suspended until further insight is made.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jo Bushong is an artist, art therapist and small business owner. Her art mostly utilizes oils, watercolors, and pen drawings. She enjoys creating outside and across of these modalities when feeling creatively blocked – this includes attempting to learn to knit every few years. Jo began her career as an art educator and has taught K- 12 art classes in Detroit and Chicago. She studied art therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and works to find a balance with her therapy practice and artmaking.
Jo’s work has been exhibited in Chicago and throughout Michigan. She founded her therapy practice in 2020 and meets with clients in her art therapy studio. When Jo is not making visual art, she likes to write stories with her sister and grandmother. She also enjoys finding cozy things to do in the winter, like drink teas and snuggle into quilts with her daughter.
© Jo Bushong