Artist Spotlight: (Jarka) Jaroslava Sobiskova

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By Moira Cue

Moira Cue: You've had an amazing life. One of the stories I remember hearing about was being offered an official post via Václav Havel, the “Playwright President,” which you turned down. Can you elaborate on that?

Jarka Jaroslava Sobiskova: When I finished school (UW Wisconsin, Madison, 1993) I decided to go back to the Czech Republic. I wanted to be part of the post revolution rebuilding of the new era. I landed a great job working for Dasha Havel in the Civic Forum Foundation. It was great team to work with and I met many interesting people and could be part of forming of the new republic. I was offered promotion but I could not commit. I knew that if I chose this career I would never go back to my art, so I quit.

Moira Cue: You also are incredibly prolific. You must have, literally thousands of works in a broad variety of media. How would you describe this body of work to some one who doesn't know about you?

Jarka Jaroslava Sobiskova: Painting is my world that is where I feel best at. It heals my soul that is why I can't give it up. Through the many years of art making I went through many different media and styles—abstract, realistic, decorative abstract, then again beck to realistic. It is constant exploration.

I use variety of media to express myself: encaustic, acrylic, clay, and felting. The last six years I have been working with wool doing wet felting. This process is like this magical journey. I meet the famers I get my wool from. I go visit when the baby lambs are born and when the wool is harvested. All that experience becomes part of the artwork. Starting working with wool was a natural progression. I always love to work with texture. That is one thing which connects all my work.

Moira Cue: How has your process as an artist changed over the years?

Jarka Jaroslava Sobiskova: One thing I regret is that my paintings got smaller. I love to paint big. It is difficult with large pieces; it is hard to store them, and not many places can show them. Now since I started to work in fiber, I can do larger work, and when I am done I can just fold it up.

Moira Cue: What inspires you?

Jarka Jaroslava Sobiskova: Most of my inspiration comes from nature and my feelings. My art it is like an extension of me. As I said before making my artwork makes me feel good and I hope that it has the same effect on the viewers.

© 2010, The Hollywood Sentinel