I missed a few weeks at Occupy for a opportunity up North, apon returning to Oakland and an internet connection, I was so excited to hear of the great strides that had being made, the strike, and the first shutting down of the port!
The day I returned to paint was November 10. It was sunny and I picked a shady spot just outside the encampment by the Bart Station. I spent the day painting the Interfaith Coalition’s tent amongst the company of Pastor Preston Walker (figure in 11-10-11 painting).We hadn’t talked much more than me asking permission to include him in my painting, but the day’s events will make the connection between us far more real if not tragic. A twenty-five year old man was shot and died within yards of where I had been painting. This event still saddens me greatly, but does not lessen my love for Oakland or the occupation.
I believe in the power of love over the power of hate.
Jirsa is a painter and textile artist whose spent the last few decades plein air oil painting across the US. Their art demonstrates a deep compassion for each place and its own unique beauty.
Originally from South Dakota, the artist has lived coast to coast, visited every state in the USA but Alaska and has plein air painted in over half of them!
“The grass isn’t greener on the other side it is just a different shade of green.” -Jirsa.
Creating the majority of their work outside on location, these thoughts along with the vibrant energy of the outdoor air, inspires colorful brushstrokes that capture the brilliance of a specific place with extraordinary depth.
The goal is not just an impressionistic tribute to the beautiful world that surrounds us but normalizing an elite art form and taking it to the streets to be enjoyed by the masses. The power of painting on location is the interaction and bond formed with the community and neighborhoods in which they paint. The painting itself then provides an instant escape to those who behold it.
Jirsa originally studied oil painting under Lisa Yuskavage in New York City and graduated from New York University in 1999 with a degree in Art Education. Based out of Oakland, CA since 2010, one will find Jirsa all over the Bay Area capturing historical places and movements, unique people, street corners and watering holes.
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