Sunday, September 15, 2013


JES BELKOV GORDON. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
At the end of August 2013, I met intuitive painter, Jes Belkov Gordon at a C4 Atlanta Techsmart event, “Blogging for Artists (
see my blog).” Jes’s intense energy engaged me, making me curious about her intuitive artwork and her blog, Buckets of Color. I met her at Sycamore Place Gallery in her studio full of vibrant paintings for the following interview

HALLELUJAH TRUTH: Give me your personal definition of ART.

JES GORDON: I would say that it’s “expressed creativity.” Visual art is very different from “art” because when you say the word “art,” I don’t think of visual art exclusively. I call myself a born sculptor and trained painter. My husband is a musician, and my kid is a folder (origami).
BUMBLAC #4 (for sale here).  Jes gets the titles for her paintings by writing down a lot of words that relates to the current series she’s working on then inventing a work like “Bumblac.” “It comes from “bubble magic,” Jes explains. (Detail photo of painting by Hallelujah Truth.)
HALLELUJAH TRUTH: Tell me more about expressed creativity.

JES GORDON: I think I am a little different than most. I view an artist as having two qualities that are separate: skill and creativity. I see skill here (Jes flings an arm out in one direction) and creativity and talent over here (flinging the other arm in the other direction).

Most classes you take are skill development ones. There are very few that are about creativity development, which is more of a spiritual thing. A skill is centered in your head. Creativity is centered in your gut.

Picking up a specific brush, applying the brush in a certain way, and manipulating it is in the brain—that’s a skill.

Grabbing my brush, dipping it in the color that feels right, and slopping it on the canvas in a way that feels good is in my gut—that’s creativity.

I guess the most important place for you to experience “expressed creativity” is to forget the skill in your brain and let it come from your gut, almost like the skill is ingrained in you at a cellular level and woven into your being….

(Pausing for a moment and then continuing)…Skill can inspire you. You can go to a class and learn a technique, but know that when you learn the skill from the teacher, it is the teachers. You can take ownership of it in your own way.
BUMBLAC #3 (for sale here). (Detail photo of painting by Hallelujah Truth.)


JES GORDON: I’m not your typical American, my parents were hippies, and they had a guru from India. We followed this eastern path that required 2.5 hours of meditation a day.

Don’t worry I never accomplished it, but “meditation” and “spirituality” always meant the same thing to me growing up. Meditation was a specifically taught practice, sitting with a mantra. And I always battled with the question of what spiritually was when that meditative path no longer suited me.

It was only recently that painting became my meditation.

PAINTING LARGE! As you can see in this photo of Jes posing with her painting "SHIFTING," many of her images are quite big. Recently, she has considered painting big, but cutting down to small (see her blog on this topic).
SHIFTING (for sale here). (Detail photo of painting by Hallelujah Truth.)
HALLELUJAH TRUTH: When and how did that happen—that painting became your meditation?

JES GORDON: I would say in spurts, here and there, about six years ago (2007) but in a committed way, about a year ago (2012). I’ve created a pretty large body of work in just a year. Painting on paper was key.

HALLELUJAH TRUTH: Could you elaborate?

JES GORDON: I think before that I was too caught up in the preciousness of the outcome.


JES GORDON: Yes, when using canvas or expensive materials. Then as soon as I started using whatever painting substrates were around, a freedom opened up to me.
UNTITLED (for sale here). (Photo of painting by Hallelujah Truth.)

HALLELUJAH TRUTH: What is the connection between the ART you make and your spirituality?

JES GORDON: They are inseparable. If  “spirit” is what moves on when this life is over, then “spirit” has a lot to say.

I think that part of spirituality for me is delving into what it means to be human. This will sound really weird, but I remember realizing I was “here again” when I was about three years old. And looking at my mother and saying, “You’re the mom this time.” If we can have a human experience, it does wonders for our soul.
HANGING CONTRAPTIONS. For Jes's smaller paintings, she has devised an efficient way to display them in her studio at Sycamore Place Gallery. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
HALLELUJAH TRUTH: In what way does your ART enhance your SPIRITUALITY?

JES GORDON: They are not separate. Art is my spirituality.

HALLELUJAH TRUTH: Would you say your art is your practice?

JES GORDON: I am working through not getting too caught up in what’s going on in the art world. Some times, it is easy to get derailed and believe that being involved is necessary.

But as a practice, I need to do intuitive painting exercises. So I always have a body of work going on that is nothing but fun. I don’t care if it comes out good or if it goes into the trash. I don’t care what happens to it. Right now, I am addicted to circles. I can’t stop painting circles.
JES IN SITU. The light streams in Jes's painting space at Sycamore Place Gallery. Her bubbly paintings seem to drift and rise in the sunbeams! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
HALLELUJAH TRUTH:  Has SPIRITUALITY always been a source of your ARTMAKING?  Why? If not, when did the SPIRITUALITY emerge?

JES GORDON: No. I think originally it was beauty. I’m as Libra as you get, so it was all about beauty. Then it was about pain. And believe it or not after my parents died, it became about spirituality.

When my father was dying from cancer, he was told that there was nothing else that they could do for him and that he should paint. He never did. But it made me look at art and creating art in a different way.

The beginning of my painting becoming a spiritual practice is based on both of my parents at the end of their lives (Jes’ father died in 2005 and her mother in 2009). They both had stories about what they were going to do when they retired. They died before they retired. So “cuss” that! Live life now!

HALLELUJAH TRUTH:  Who (artists, authors, friends, etc.) do you consider influential in the way you think, act, and make ART?

JES GORDON: Right now, a contemporary who is influencing me is Connie Hozvicka. Not so much what she paints but her approach. I took an online class from her, and she is the messenger that changed my life.

Other current influences are Lissa Rankin, Brene Brown, always Judy Chicago, and Don Cooper.
SELF-PORTRAIT (not for sale)
HALLELUJAH TRUTH:  What is your purpose for making ART?

JES GORDON: Living a long life joyfully.

Jes is offering an intuitive painting workshop at Sycamore Place Gallery in Decatur, Georgia, on Sunday, October 6, 2013, from 11:00-6:00. Go here or contact Jes for more information.

HALLELUJAH WITH JES. I love having the opportunity to visit artists in situ. These Spiritual Art Pilgrim interviews give me the chance to get to know amazing artists like Jes and to go deeper into their process. I learn so much and in the process, making friends with the artist and clarifying my own artistic process. Thank you Jes for your bubbles, buckets of color, and way of being in this world. You are such an inspiration.

If you liked this interview, here are links to my other Spiritual Art Pilgrim Interviews:

1. Cecelia Kane (painter, drawer, performance art)

2. Robey Tapp (book sculptor, collagist, painter)

3. Karen Phillips (painter)

4. Carol Ruckdeschel (naturalist, painter, drawer)

5. Flora Rosefsky (drawer, painter, collagist)

6. Jesse Bathrick (collagist, painter, drawer)

7. Kenny Whitfield (Bahamian Wood Carver)

8. Ty Butler (photographer)

9. Tazwell Morton (drawer, painter, ceramicist)
10. Callahan Pope McDonough (painter)


  1. I was such a pleasure to meet and get to know you Hallelujah Truth! What an honor to be a part of your Spiritual Art Pilgrim Interviews! These are some amazing people to be grouped with... Thank you again for your time and energy. You are putting wonderful nuggets into this world! XOXO

    1. And let me thank you again Jes for ALL that you put out into the world! I'm looking forward to taking your intuitive painting workshop in Decatur on October 6! Hope some friends of mine will join me!

  2. I love reading your interviews with other artist. They inspire me to greatness and you inspire me to satisfaction and fun and greatness.

    1. Darlene you are so sweet and an inspiration too! I believe I will need to interview you in the upcoming year. Do you Skype?

  3. I attended Jes's art opening at Sycamore Place Gallery this past Spring and really liked the work. She created a world for me that is part cartoon and part pure energy. I agree that the purpose of art is to live a long life joyfully.

    1. Dear See See, you and Jes have a lot in common concerning the genesis of your paintings. PURE ENERGY!