We had the good fortune of connecting with JL Schwartz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi JL, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As the saying goes without risk there is no reward. I truly believe that by taking risks from the very start of my career was the reason it so successful and enjoyable. I was able to use my creativity to provide unique solutions to highly technical problems that enhanced business processes and provided the company with an edge above the others. When I transitioned to a full-time career as an artist I continued to take risks as I explored new mediums, techniques and genres. Some work and some do not; however none are failures as I learn and grow from each attempt in order to create art that is both visually pleasing and provocative.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My artwork crosses numerous genres within the abstract realm including nonobjective, biomorphic, figurative and landscape. It also ranges from acrylic painting to collage / mixed media. However, the one binding aspect is my love of mark making which I include to varying degrees in each piece. The line work may be made with charcoal, pencil, crayon, scraping, paint, string and other materials. Very few worthwhile things in life come easily and they only come through continuous practice or as I like to say, experimentation. My muse is nature which can be very broad particularly if you consider Pollock’s response.”I am nature”. to Hans Hoffman when he suggested that Pollock try working from nature. I am most proud to have been awarded Honorable Mention in the Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition and selected for the Best of Acrylics 2020 publication. Both competitions received a large number of entries from artists all over the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Assuming we are talking about the visit occurring after the pandemic and my friend enjoys the same things I do, there are so many places in South Florida worth taking the time to explore. Our weather is fantastic for year round activities outdoors so that is where I would start; a ride through the Everglades and a stroll through the Wynwood, South Beach, Coconut Grove, Las Olas Boulevard and Pineapple Grove, including the galleries, fairs and restaurants. However, my favorite local restaurant is the award-winning Cook and the Cork; fabulous food and outstanding wine list with the most gracious and friendly owners and staff.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many artists who inspired me (both historical and contemporary) and people that supported and mentored me throughout my artistic life that it would be impossible to name them all so I selected just a few. My mother who enrolled me in the Tampa Museum of Art classes when I was very young and started me on the path toward a creative career. My father who always encouraged me to continually create and proudly displayed my first watercolor and oil pieces in his office at work. My high school teacher who inspired me and gave me confidence that I had the artistic skills to create art others would enjoy and value. My husband who took an active and supportive role in all my creative endeavors. When I decided to move toward abstract art I give full credit to Eydi Lampasona at the Boca Raton Museum Art School for helping me find the courage to get my feet wet, go big and develop my style. Broward Art Guild was the first organization to give me the opportunity to exhibit my work publicly. Last but certainly not least, Sally Cooper, a dear and long time friend and artist, provided guidance over the years through constructive advice and introduction to a variety of techniques..