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Opposites Abstract: Jaime Derringer's 20x200 Debut!

141128-2 by Jaime Derringer
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($1200)

World’s-gone-mad Tuesday greetings, collectors! It’s Jen here again, writing to offer a respite from the chaos reigning over our newscycle and social streams with some soul-soothing, inspiring art: 141128-2 by my friend on the internet since forever, the magnificent multi-hyphenate Jaime Derringer.

What amazes me about Jaime is not just the astounding array of initiatives under her purview, but the consistency and quality that defines those efforts. Lots of people know her as the force behind Design Milk, an essential read for design professionals and fanatics since the heyday of blogging in the early aughts. She’s a pioneer, sure, but she’s the rare sort of trailblazer who’s stuck with it, evolving along with the medium itself and doing a bunch of other amazing things along the way. Today she presides over not one but three different design-oriented websites, a podcast, and a handful of attention-intensive side hustles, including poetry, calligraphy and yep, art

Jaime channels all the things that make people want to be an artist into a practice that few people have the discipline and determination to maintain. The practice that Jaime’s built over the years—amid all of the above and more—is a testament to her dedication to being an artist. To face the uncertainty of a blank page and make a mark on it requires a strange combination of humility and self-assuredness. The belief that the mark you make will matter somehow, and lead to something else, combines with acceptance that you might not produce the desired result. You need to be willing to make mistakes, to be bad at something until you’re good at it, to accept that that might never happen, and then be brave enough and confident enough to share it with others.

In Jaime’s case, the result of all this consistency, bravery and humility is gorgeous abstractions that thrum with movement and energy, combining colors, shapes, and forms in surprising ways. In 141128-2, Jaime juxtaposes the organic sweep of brush against paper against precise arcs and angles in a manner that both creates and contains chaos. The clean edges of those arcs hold back painterly lines that could seemingly continue unendingly without that boundary. In other instances, those same painterly lines contentedly make their own end, creating a loosely defined border between themselves and the other colors and trajectories that they’d otherwise collide with. To combine such disparate elements could easily produce an incongruous jumble, but Jaime manages to bring it all together somehow. 141128-2 soothes, with order and organicism existing in harmony.

It is possible (and sufficient!) to admire this edition for its aesthetics alone. The aforementioned juxtaposition of stroke and style, the pleasing and unlikely colors Jaime’s combined. It will look great on your wall, there’s no doubt. But I suggest you’ll find abiding comfort and inspiration in considering the person and the practice that made it, the persistence and the joy to be found in persisting.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman