My young daughter's drawings, motivational charts and diagrams have been the inspiration for this artwork. I am instrigued by the child’s marks and choices when constructing an image, as well as the visuals found abundantly in children’s toys and playthings. Being a parent has opened me up to an entire new world of visuals – from the toys we choose and offer to our children, to the kinds of images they draw and select for themselves. I am interested in the child’s approach to constructing an image, along with the attempt to master or control something, be it a skill or a situation. The work also alludes to my own feelings of inundation, a general sense of being overwhelmed, and the tricky power play between parent and child. The resultant images both subscribe to the idea of childhood as sweet and innocent, but also acknowledge that it is messy, overwrought and sometimes scary.
Map to Good Hygiene
2014, relief print on digital pigment print, 19" x 15"
Pink Tea Party
2014, gouache and graphite on paper, 36.5" x 36.5"
Cake with Graphic Splatters
2015, gouache, ink, and graphite on digital pigment print, 20" x 16"
Yellow Tea Party
2014, gouache and graphite on paper, 36.5" x 36.5"
From Me to You
2015, gouache and graphite and ink on paper, 120" x 36"
2010, Serigraph on digital pigment print, 22" x 26"
2012, gouache, graphite and paint on paper, 36.5" x 36.5"
Pile It On (with Eyes and Purple Confetti)
2011, gouache, ink and graphite on digital pigment print, 22" x 26"
Gold with Orange Non-Pareils
2014, gouache, ink and graphite on digital pigment print, 20" x 16"
Yellow Fairy with Toast
2012, gouache, graphite, and paint on paper, 36.5" x 36.5"
Pile it On (with Blue Background and Carriage)
2011, gouache, paint and ink on digital pigment print, 22" x 26"
2015, gouache and graphite on paper, 36.5" x 36.5"
2014, gouache, ink and graphite on digital pigment print, 22" x 17"
Have Your Cake
2015, gouache, graphite and ink on digital pigment print, 22" x 17"
Pile it On (with Multicolored Sprinkles)
2011, gouache, ink and graphite on digital pigment print, 20" x 16"
Pile It On (Silver with Red Polka-Dots)
2011, ink and paint on digital pigment print, 22" x 26"
2015, gouache and graphite on paper, 36.5" x 36.5"
Pink with Yellow Spots
2011, gouache, graphite and ink on digital pigment print, 22" x 26"
Crossover/Cruce de Vías
Created by Cara Jaye (Washington) and Miguel Rivera (Mexico) in 2004 as a spontaneous collaboration that has now expanded to include the taking and trading of artworks by more than 30 artists from over ten countries, Crossover/Cruce de Víasaddresses issues of exchange, borders, authorship, travel and the interplay within collaboration. The diverse body of more than 150 works incorporate drawing, collage, photography, painting and printmaking techniques as artists use layers and multiple viewpoints to form an active and ongoing dialogue on crossing borders and nationalities, bridging differences and expressing commonalities while sending work across actual borders.
2015 Crossover/Cruce de Vias, Western Gallery - Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
2013Crossover KC-BsAS, Projecto’ACEBuenos Aires, Argentina
2012 Crossover KC, Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, MO
2006 Crossover/Cruce de Vias, Shift Gallery, Seattle WA and Galleria Jesus Garcia, Guanajuato, Mexico
In this work I have depicted figures in a state of free fall, that brief period of flight before an imminent crash. The work originated from studies of drawings and prints in the archives of the Louvre Museum. In 2012 I spent six weeks in Paris, France where I studied a diverse group of artists depicting falling figures in classical prints and drawings. The resultant images are a reinterpretation of the classic drawings created in a variety of media on paper including: gouache, graphite and pastel, with heightened colors and vibrant spaces.
Artists’ works explored included: Delacroix, Blondel, Subleyras, LeBrun and many anonymous artists, as well as other artists’ copies. The scenes often contained many figures, or an array of flying carts and horses surrounding a falling man. The fall of Phaëton was a prominent theme, the son of Apollo who stole the sun chariot and tried unsuccessfully to drive it across the sky. Another common scene is the Fall of Man – multiple figures tumbling in heaps through a dense space. In this work I have taken the figures out of their constricted spaces and opened up the compositions to reveal more openness, with patterns, colors and ambiguous spaces. None of the original images were in color, they were mostly monochrome works in ink, graphite or conté”.
“I found it was both inspiring and intense to draw from such a diverse source of artists. Many of the figures were drawn in a way that was very foreign to my hand. They might use a line that is unlike my touch, or really emphasize bulging musculature. Still holding these master works in my own hand was magical and intense. There is so much to learn from drawing from other artists’ works.”
I love drawing for its immediacy and intimacy of marks placed directly on the page. Everything is apparent and obvious in a drawing, the clumsiness, skill, delicate line work and little hatch marks. I find drawing so immediate and expressive and telling. The emotion of drawing is right there on the page, it is much less hidden in process or technique the way it can be in other media.
A collaborative work by Cara Jaye and Seiko A. Purdue
Western Washington University - Viking Union
2010, abaca fiber, indigo dye, wire cloth, plaster, fabric, paper clay, methyl cellulose, and readymade plastic toys
Photo: David Scherrer
Lofty Aspirations is a large cast paper piece that examines ideas of personal goals and aspirations within a cloudscape formation. The work consists of 26 hand-cast and dyed paper cloud formations that float up the tall narrow space in the Viking Union, extending from the 5th floor to the 7th floor. It includes over 1000 written and drawn goals and aspirations collected from small children to retirees, reflecting what their future goals, dreams and aspirations are. Additionally small figurines and toys are embedded in the clouds.
This piece invokes themes of future possibility and what one can accomplish with vision, goals and a bit of dreaming. It involved students of all ages and stages in life, and encourages dreaming, pondering individual potential, and looking for images in the clouds.
For more information about the making of this work see Seiko A. Purdue's website:
Bellingham artist Cara Jaye hangs her installation "Water On the Mountain" at the Museum of Northwest Art on Wednesday afternoon as she and other artists prepare for an exhibit called "Surge". The exhibit looks at how oceans, rivers, forests, wildlife and people of the region might be affected by climate change during the next 35 years. - Brandy Shreve/Skagit Valley Herald
Image from article: Museum exhibit explores climate Change By Kimberly Cauvel, Sept. 17, 2016
This elongated landscape shows a shifting view from the mountains through the agricultural lands of the Skagit Valley to the Salish Sea. The theme of the image is the snow/rain balance. With reduced snow pack in the mountains, water is not stored and released slowly over time, but instead a greater and faster release of water flows immediately into the river. The stronger likelihood of flooding, and other dramatic weather occurrences, are the big events we will notice as part of global climate change.
Water On the Mountain, 2016
Magic Marker Brain Pop at Gallery Gowoon in South Korea, 2016
silver gelatin prints embroidered and painted with blood on canvas, 2000-present
Each piece in this collection is made up of a photographic silver gelatin print that has been embroidered, then painted with blood, and finally mounted onto canvas. In each of the pieces I have chosen to embroider the body of an insect on top of the nude female figure. In all of the images I act as both artist and model. The embroidered medium is usually associated with craft or "handiwork", and is traditionally considered women's art. The insects and their Latin names allude to the rigor associated with medicine and the classification of natural phenomena. Blood symbolizes intimacy and the vehicle of life. It can also speak of inheritance and identity, violence, birth, and death. The combination of blood and stitches are reminiscent of reconstructive surgery and further emphasize the idea of perfecting body parts, of changing the grotesque into the beautiful, the beautiful into the grotesque, and the whole into scrutinized, fragmented parts.
The insects and their Latin names are realized in a paint of blood, and so allude to the rigor associated with medicine and the classification of natural phenomena. Insects are emblematic of collecting, a cataloging of types and body parts. Insects are strange and beautiful, tiny and seem fragile, and yet they are immensely strong, comparatively.
16 minute digital video, 2005
Besos was shot in Guanajuato, Mexico City, and Queretaro, Mexico, and is displayed in a typical street food vendors' cart. Besos means kisses in Spanish, and as its name implies, the video shows captured footage of people kissing in public.
Celebrity Lips consists of over 70 small gouache paintings on paper, each representing the mouth of a different, living celebrity. The piece can be installed in different configurations, and distant pieces may be viewed through binoculars.
Saints and Heroes
pigmented digital prints and mixed media work on paper, 2004-2006
The Saints and Heroes series was begun in Mexico where I was a visiting artist at the University of Guanjuato during the spring of 2004. Inspired by the proliferation of religious and popular iconography in Mexico and the occasional intermingling of the two, the images were created using a simple pinhole camera. The resulting photographs were scanned into digital format and subtly altered. These have been inspired by hand painted ex-votos, both antique and contemporary, as well as the numerous hand made crafts, toys and items sold in Mexico for religious holidays and special occasions. Other works are created using gouache, vandyke brownprint and collage methods in various combinations.
fabric, digital video projection and wooden stand, 2002
Penelope, chaste wife of Odysseus, wove her husband's supposed burial shroud by day, and unraveled it at night in secret. She used this as a means of stalling her suitors until Odysseus returned from his innumerable adventures.
Like Penelope weaving and picking apart the fabric, Unraveling depicts an exploration of themes of process, of making the apparent ambiguous and the invisible visible.
In Unraveling there is no distinction between the process of making and un-making. In this piece I've tried to make a space where meaning, decision, and definition are created at the same time as that very notion is being carefully undermined.