I grew up on a dairy farm working with animals and earth, growing crops and building fence, learning to nurture life
and respect nature. This is where my life as an artist began. The lessons of balance and harmony that I learned on
the farm are invaluable in expressing my feelings and experiences on canvas.
Some of my subject matter comes from early childhood experiences on the farm, but still more comes from my life with
my children. I love seeing the world simplified through their eyes. My paintings are more of an essence of nature,
not a literal representation of it. It’s the emotion that a stand of aspen stirs inside me that I’m trying to
capture. You will notice lots of familial references in the titles of my paintings like “Three Sisters,” “Protecting
the Little One,” and “Family of Five;” this is no accident.
My family also led me to another love, Italy. The first time my husband took me there, I felt an immediate
connection. Undeniably, I was home. Rich colors and wonderful history overtook me as I absorbed the culture. I
experienced Italy with Italians, and was able to embrace my heritage in a remarkable way. I strive to convey this
sense of history with my paintings. I want viewers to experience the same enchantment I feel when coming upon a worn
and broken, but beautiful old wall.
In order to get the effect of extreme age and texture, I use a ten-step process that allows me to manipulate my work
to give it the essence that it has survived centuries. I start by making my own canvas. When the canvas has been
properly prepared, I am ready to paint using only oils. Once the painting has dried, I literally break the painting
with my hands. Then, I adhere the painting to a self-constructed wooden frame and shape edges to give a torn look. I
want the image to look like you found this amazing wall in Italy and found a way to bring a piece of it home.
I will continue adding more oil paint either in very thin applications or with a bold palette knife. The cracks are
real; it is not a “crackle finish” and I encourage people to touch and feel the work. Most people are drawn to the
tactile nature of the painting and I want to engage the sense of touch. I want there to be an element of
imperfection in my work. To have things be imperfect gives a little grace and a sense of freedom. Only through this
freedom can we attain a sense of calm. I want to feel that calm my self, that’s why I paint.
Prices subject to change without notice.
Artwork subject to availability.
For sale by Jean Stephen Galleries
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