THE ART OF
(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. 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: