Born in 1984 in Fairfax, Virginia, Jessica McKinney grew up just outside of Washington, D.C.. She showed an early interest in art and began to exhibit her photography while just a teenager, winning numerous awards at the Prince William County Fair. Still, necessity required that Jessica dabble in other career paths in her teens and twenties, and she eventually moved away from her home state. While living in North Carolina, she returned to her first love and studied fine art. In 2011, Jessica graduated with an associate degree in fine art summa cum laude at Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines, North Carolina.
The same year, Jessica moved back home to the D.C. area and studied briefly at the Corcoran College of Art & Design. She eventually took a position with Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, where she was promoted to Assistant Director. In this role, she had the opportunity to meet many professional artists and develop skills in professional curation and management of retail art galleries while continuing to exhibit her own work.
Now living with her husband, Josh, and pet box turtle, Turley, in Baltimore, Maryland, Jessica paints in her studio regularly and exhibits her artwork regionally. Recent honors include acceptance into juried group exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and the headquarters of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and a solo exhibit at Belvedere Square Market in Baltimore.
Having always been a child that played outdoors, it seems only fitting that as an artist I most enjoy depicting the natural world. Specifically I am most interested in the brilliant colors and organic shapes of botanicals. I prefer to depict a wild explosion of blossoms with no apparent source, and I paint with large strokes and traditional and non-traditional materials--including spray paint, pastel crayons and drippy paint-- to convey my love for color and movement. While working on a canvas I dance between painting with precision and painting with wild abandon, as I don’t want my commitment to a particular flower or image to compromise the overall sensations of wildness, color and wonder that are in my mind. Not entirely abstract and not entirely realism, my style is hard to categorize neatly. Never having been one to be pigeon-holed, I think this is a good thing! Ultimately I hope that my paintings are energizing and uplifting.