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Jonathan Hall

Over the past five years, I have consistently defaulted to an art style that I can best describe as “geometric abstraction” or “advanced doodling,” although I am still searching for an exact description. The idea goes as follows: start drawing with any random idea, and carry out that idea throughout the entire surface, largely sticking to the motif but adjusting as you see fit. Hours on end are spent creating these pieces, and for the longest time, I believed I had no true inspiration for this work beyond, “I thought it would look cool so I drew it.” That was until I discovered jazz and its unique influence upon my art. 


Being from New Orleans (I was born there, at least) I have always gravitated towards the genre, best known for its freedom of expression and often spontaneous creation. Over the past year, I found myself always listening to jazz, particularly the styles of “cool” and “hard bop.” They seemed to match exactly what I was drawing, with the way the theme unfolded from a single idea into a complete, complex work. 


As mentioned earlier, my creative process can be boiled down to letting a spontaneous pattern or style of making marks unfold, both mechanically and organically, across a space. I typically stick with ink markers such as Sharpies when making this work, though I have recently become taken with the idea of moving this style into painting. I use markers upon thick paper because of its immediate boldness. I like not being able to take back any marks. This encourages bold lines as well as spontaneous decision-making. 


In this work, I value the contrasts that are present. Organic, yet mechanical. Simple, yet complicated. Restless, yet soothing. I value the fact that these opposites can exist within single pieces of work.

Wofford College – BA