Late Fall/ Winter Shows
Artrider Holiday Craft
Capital Art and Craft Festival
In my bio, I had written: mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend, teacher...
The day I added “artist,” I sat and stared at the word and felt full of deep emotion. I always saw myself as a creative individual, but I never felt that I could call myself by that name. I had not obtained an art degree in any related areas with all of the sweat and tears that were entailed to qualify as an artist. I was not earning money for my artwork, nor was my work exhibited in a gallery with awards and prizes within any particular art community.
I asked myself to validate this title, this word that had always intimidated me while walking through art museums, in conversations with artist friends, in silent hopes of one-day understanding artwork on a level that didn’t leave me feeling so lost and insignificant. I clearly remember walking into an elementary school art class while picking up my students one day and hearing the art teacher tell the children, “Remember children, art is what you want to see. Look closely and then step back... how does the art make you feel? This is art appreciation.” That moment, in that brightly lit classroom, covered in tempera paints and faded construction paper, my world opened to art.
I finally began to appreciate art on my terms, in my own way, and I felt so free. It took many years to continue my art journey and to begin the process of creating paintings on my own. So when I picked up my daughter’s childhood art set and let it flow, I suddenly felt complete. I quickly advanced to fine watercolors and incorporated stitching to add depth and warmth. It is incredible to make art that allows me to feel so balanced and connected. My work continues to evolve from my passion to paint abstract organic designs while watching the colors on the paper blend into unexpected beauty.
The writer and poet Thomas Merton stated:
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Throughout my artistic process, I am deeply connected to the paints and surfaces. As an observer of my art, I lose myself for a moment within that space and realize that I have found my artistic expression unique to me. My hope is to share this with you. -Jen