To actually peer inside someone else’s subconscious would be a wonderful thing. Obviously you’d have to be careful to not become mentally scarred by what you saw but on the whole it would be fascinating. I feel like I’m doing that with Jaime Brett Treadwell’s paintings. Surreal, chock full of detail with groovy colours too, it’s like being enveloped by a carousel of psychedelic merriment –which is no bad thing.
From babes in pools on top of SUVs, to a forest of trees and porcelain statues, it’s like wandering through an everlasting, imagery-laden trip. Using oil points with a lot of skill, it looks so amazing because the execution of these dreamlike worlds have been realised so welll. We caught up with the artist so he could tell us what’s really going on in is mind when he creates these works…
So Jaime, your paintings are like tapestries with the rich detail in them, have you always worked in this way?
I have not always worked in this approach. My earlier work relates to more isolated forms or figures in space. As I look back in retrospect my work has evolved considerably using elements of all my prior investigations. My paintings sometimes take a year to complete. I think of them as an organically evolving process. Once I am happy with the concept and composition, I finish the painting toward a high resolution.
What inspires your work, where do these ‘utopian’ communities come from?
I find quite a bit of my subject matter from rural areas. During the summers I live in a small town in Maine. The town is a rural community loaded with subject matter. I think of my work as sculptures a hermit would create or an ideal place where a hermit would want to live in.
What do you feel is the benefit of using oil paints in your work? Why not create the works digitally?
I often think of this question. What I feel works in my favour with oil paint opposed to digital is the long history and tradition connected to oil paint. There is a romanticism inter-weaved with painting that helps to suggest a narrative. For some reason a painting is viewed as authentic as opposed to a digital print. This could possibly be because of the evidence of the human hand within the surface of the painting. Funny thing is that I look at my paintings as sculptures. At times I ask myself: “Why not make these as colossal sculptures”. Maybe someday I will – I love sculpture.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working small so that I can quickly plow through ideas. I recently began painting these quintessential snow covered mountain landscapes. Within the landscapes are intensely colored geometrical forms that could possibly be used for habitat or transportation.
My work seems to be going in a different direction, but I find it important to go left-field every so often to keep things fresh and exciting. I am also working on a large painting which I started two years ago. Somehow it has evolved into a colossal layered wedding-like cake with stripes of colour and painted murals that inhabit people or an entire community. I am not completely sure where it will end up, although I love the uncertainty.
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.