(a short story about an artist)
I am a self-taught oil painter. I am also an introvert and a perfectionist. It wasn't until I was in my mid-thirties that the urge to communicate became greater than my fear of failure and desire to hide. The day I picked up a paintbrush and applied paint to canvas, changed me forever.
When I first began painting, I painted only things I could see and copy. As my work evolved, I began to paint things I felt and thought. My inspiration comes from poetry, music, moods, dreams and personal experiences. My work is predominately figurative (usually women). I prefer painting single figures as I find them to be more visually powerful than groups. I am currently working on a series that challenges female gender stereotypes. I call it, "That's Not Ladylike."
Once I have a rough charcoal sketch on my canvas or paper, oil paint is applied and manipulated using brushes, palette knives, my fingers, and Q-tips. The decisions made concerning color, light, space etc. are primarily intuitive. As a painting progresses, the initial idea might be rejected or manipulated until it is unrecognizable. I don’t finish a painting until it looks and feels right. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a week.
I enjoy creating a bit of mischief or whimsy in my work. I have been known to paint too many fingers on a hand, an extra foot, holes in socks, crooked eyes, subtle "unladylike" gestures etc. If I finish a painting and later decide I don’t like it, I cut out the parts I do like and stitch them onto a different canvas to create a new piece.
Painting has taken me on an amazing journey of self-discovery and to places I can go only in my imagination. I am humbled that others connect with my work and are willing to join me on this adventure.
I have exhibited my work in several Colorado galleries and other public venues. My paintings can be found in private collections around the world. In 2001, although still an emerging artist, I was selected to illustrate a children’s book for the Butterfly Pavilion. It is titled, Morpha, A Rainforest Story, written by Michael Tennyson and published by Colorado Mountain Club Press. I illustrated my second children’s book, Jesus From A to Z, written by Kevin Graham and published by Windom Publishing Co. in 2009. This book has won nine national awards. Several of my paintings can also be found in Mort Persky's book of love poems, Your Eyes That Told Me Yes, published in 2017. I have illustrated two local artist's CD covers - Lexi Lyon's "The Words I Finally Got Right" and Anna Smith's "Birds of a Feather."
I have no formal art training. My education includes Bachelor of Arts degrees in elementary education and special education from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. I recently retired, after 30 years of service, from Aurora Public Schools. I currently reside in Aurora, CO with my husband.
Where to find Jennifer's Art: