Jessica Gonzales

Jessica Gonzales

Jessica Gonzales 2560 2048 The Tucson Gallery
Jessica Gonzales
The Tucson Gallery is Proud to Feature Local Artist Jessica Gonzales


Tucson Gallery Podcast - Meet The Artist with Jessica Gonzales
Tucson Gallery Podcast – Meet The Artist with Jessica Gonzales
Meet The Artist Event with Jessica Gonzales

Jessica’s Story

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma City, where I lived until age 6. I remember very little about OKC, but the things that stand out are my babysitter, our above-ground pool, and one very specific snow cone stand. My father was in the Air Force, and we got stationed to Germany, where we lived in a tiny farming town near the border of The Netherlands from age 6-12.

Our town was called Schalbruch, and it was pure magic. Filled with beautiful brick homes, flower planters hanging from every window, wheat fields, cows, and the unforgettable smell of manure, it was a place my friends and I could roam and explore freely. I still have dreams about it to this day! From there we moved here to Tucson, where I’ve lived ever since. I went to Tucson High and spent a lot of time downtown as a teenager, which had a huge impact on the development of my creative expression...

Tell us about your family

My dad is from south Texas, and my mother is from northern Michigan. They met when my father was stationed in northern Michigan when he first joined the military. They could not be more opposite people, so they went ahead and had a Gemini daughter who most definitely feels the polarization of being raised by them! My father now lives in New Mexico with my stepmother and is the most hard-working and high-integrity person I know, and my kind and loving mother is my very best friend. I get my artistic genes from her, and grew up being creative with her and my grandmother (her mother), who also enjoyed making art. 

I have an older sister, whom I have looked up to my whole life. She’s older than me by 13 years, so we have never experienced sibling rivalry of any kind. She was the coolest older sister and my absolute hero growing up, and still is to this day.

Do you have pets, if yes, tell us about them.

I have one dog, and her name is Lucy. She’s a mix of Australian Cattle Dog, Chihuahua, and Parson Russell Terrier. She’s got one perky ear and one floppy ear, and she’s white with orange patches. She was a rescue, and when we saw her at PACC we made eye contact and the connection was instant. She’s a quirky little thing! She’s super loving, yet independent. She’s very mellow but also high-strung. I always joke that she’s a Gemini like me. We’ve taught her that the signal for going on a walk is dancing, so all we have to do is start a little jig and she gets all excited. 

We had a dog when I was a small child, but other than that Lucy is my very first pet.

My husband and I love her so much! We’ve had her since March 2021, and she’s brought so much warmth and joy to our home. 

When did you know that you would be an artist?

I can’t recall a time that I didn’t know I’d be an artist. I think my abilities were recognized at a young age by my parents and teachers, so it was always supported and encouraged. I can’t say I ever really had a clear vision of what being an artist would look like, I just always knew I’d be doing something creative in life. The most exciting moment for me though, and one that I believe was pivotal in the way I perceived myself as an artist, was in 4th grade when I began drawing my friends on the school bus during our morning ride. I discovered I was able to create a likeness of them, which was super exciting for me and busted my creative mind wide open. I realized I had the ability to make things look the way I saw them and make them recognizable, and it solidified in my kid brain that I was in fact an artist and would continue to pursue it forever, though at that age it was more of a feeling than a conscious thought.

What is your favorite media to work with?

I love working with acrylic paint the most. I like that it has a quicker dry time and can be built upon easily, that it is forgiving, and the textures it creates. I feel the strongest sensory connection to working with acrylic paint, which makes the process a very visceral experience. As a result I can get lost in the painting process more effortlessly, and the work always benefits from this sense of harmony. 

What do you do when you’re not doing the voodoo that you do (Tom’s way of asking)? Or, what do you do when you’re not doing your art?

When I’m not making art I am probably thrifting or antiquing with my husband. It’s one of our favorite things to do together! I absolutely love second-hand and vintage fashion, and I get a ton of joy out of adding to my collections of clothing & accessories. I’m always thinking of new and interesting ways to dress creatively. I’m in painting clothes most of the time, so sometimes I’ll get dressed up just to go to the grocery store. Any chance I get, I’ll take! I also enjoy looking at art other people have created, from gallery works, to hand-made jewelry, to driving around and finding things people have painted on their houses. I find inspiration everywhere! And finally, I love listening to and discovering new music, reading, dancing, singing (and practicing my singing impressions!), watching movies, learning about any and everything that I happen to be curious about, and finding ways to harness peace and serenity.

All Artworks By Jessica

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