Nature and fantasy in Jessica Stride’s art

Flying on a Bird cr Jessica StrideIn art, and in my day-to-day life, I’m always drawn to vivid colours, nature and a touch of fairytale fantasy. So when I discovered Jessica Stride’s saturated paintings and multimedia creations I was instantly entranced.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve been highly aware of colour and it’s important for me to have it in my life,” she comments. “I’ve always knitted, crocheted, sewn and it’s always the colour that drives me.”

Jessica graduated from The University of the West of England with a Fine Art in Context Degree in 2000. “During my degree I’d worked on various public sculpture projects in the city but my real love was for colour and although discouraged from painting while I was at uni, I knew that’s what I really wanted to do,” she says. “I started to paint only after I’d finished my degree and felt like a complete beginner so decided to attend adult education classes in painting once a week. I loved experimenting with combinations of colours on the canvas and my early paintings were abstract. It wasn’t long before I began to have regular exhibitions in Bristol.”

Today Jessica continues to draw inspiration from colour, as well as wildlife in the West Country and beyond. “I love nature and quite often my paintings include the sea, birds and plants.”

Book Lover cr Jessica Stride

Book Lover cr Jessica Stride

A lot of her works also feature books, as the one above does. The presence of the books enhance the wistfulness of the pieces, and the sense that the figure shown is deep in a daydream (though possibly about to have her brains pecked out!).

Abundance cr Jessica Stride

Abundance cr Jessica Stride

Jessica says she finds it difficult to describe her style to other people. “I work intuitively and I think that the best pieces evolve without me thinking about them,” she comments, then adds intriguingly: “Many people say it makes them feel happy when they look at my work which often surprises me because some of my paintings have a darker side which maybe isn’t obvious because of the bright colour!”

And of course I can’t help loving this new, bee-infused painting, ‘Beatrice and Her Bees’, now available from Jessica’s Etsy shop.

Beatrice and Her Bees cr Jessica Stride

You can see more of Jessica’s work at, and discover her process at Much of her work is available to buy here:

Know an artist you’d like to see showcased on Give me a shout at judy(at)!