The Art of Jaclyn Littman

A Retrospective

This archive of rare early works paints an intimate portrait of the artist-turned-designer's childhood.

Littman's earliest known works explore a visceral connection to the medium. Abstracted animal forms are rendered with both geometric simplicity and expressive lines. Bold, saturated colors dominate this early period, as Littman immersed herself in the media of wax crayon and washable markers. Subjects range from people and animals to pure, abstracted emotion.

Abstract Expressionism

An Eye for Detail

Littman further explores man and beast with a developing focus on detail. Influences form this period include field trips to the Baltimore Zoo and Lisa Frank coloring books.
Vast improvements in manual dexterity led to a greater sense of form and ornament in 1991. The droplet motif is indicative of work in this period, as well as new textural treatments such as polka dots, zigzags, and plaid. Inspired by her suburban upbringing, Littman situates figures in outdoor settings, complete with shining suns and grassy knolls. Also, more developed styles of lettering emerge in text elements, like block and dot-to-dot lettering.

Raindrops & Polka Dots

Formal Training

Forays into new media, such as watercolor, pastel and colored pencil, coincide with Littman's enrollment in the first grade. Greater specificity of form shows an effort to record the visible world in her work.

Gaining Perspective

Proportion and perspective were major breakthroughs in Littman's 1994 artwork. There is a great sense of playfulness and humor in these pieces, such as The Dancing Raccoons and Waving Mermaid.
In 1995, Littman's interest in science and nature led her to create a series of work surrounding the themes of Flora and Fauna. Jungle creatures and leafy greenery abound in these drawings.

Observations of Nature

Impressionist Influence

Littman's artistic endeavors during this period were highly diverse, from the abstracted and fanciful instrument island of Music Creatures to the impression inspired Boat on the Water to her signature realistic pastel style im Kitten with Flowers .
Littman began to study watercolor painting in 1997 at Renata's Art Studio. A strong sense of composition and layout emerges in these watercolor pieces, which required the methodological layering of washes of watercolor. She also ventured into simplistic icon design in her pamphlet cover for the Franklin Elementary School Fifth Grade Farewell.

Watercolor Washes

Light and Shadow

Littman continued to explore watercolor 1998 and added pen and ink to her arsenal of creative tools. She relished in using Grumbacher's Miskit Frisket for masking certain highlighted areas on the surface of the water in Duckpond (upper right). She also enjoyed saying the name. Note the refined script signature in Rabbi Spatz (upper left), which still retains a touch of whimsy in the looping leg of the "L."
In the seventh grade, Littman's focus shifted to mastery of media. She studied classical oil painting technique at Baltimore's Mitchell Art School, completing studies of cloth, fruits, and still lifes. She also became fascinated with realistic portraiture and the human face. These exercises demonstrate a forming command of artistic media and set the stage for Littman's latter works.

Classical Technique