Have you always thought of yourself as an artist?
I never had to choose which direction my life would take, I always felt that I was born to be creative, thankfully I was selected for art school, because otherwise I may well have gate-crashed and turned up every day even if I had not been offered a place. I remember at my art school interview being asked what my plan B was if I was unsuccessful. I didn’t have one, people often advise artists to have “something to fall back on” I have found that when life gets tough, it is art that saves me every time.
How does art save you?
I call the act of being creative, active meditation. When I am engrossed in mixing colours, focused on trying to communicate through paint, or clay I find everything else disappears. For hours on end I can be free of whatever is challenging in life apart from the artistic challenge. This is not to say that my creative work is not without its own disappointments and failures, struggles and insecurities, but I have never sought an easy life, I enjoy challenges.
How challenging has it been to produce enough work for “Off the Wall”?
Timing is everything. Fortunately I have been able to focus exclusively on painting new work for this exhibition. I have been in my studio full time throughout February and into March. I tend to jump in immediately with both feet when a new opportunity arises, one painting leading to the next. I could not sustain this level of work all the time, no doubt I will go through a period of calm reflection when I have completed the paintings for “Off the Wall”
What themes have you been working on ?
My latest work is very much inspired by the places I have visited recently, and the objects that remind me of home wherever I am. I believe strongly that if as human beings we can be surrounded by beauty, whether that be the environment in which we live and work or play, the kindness of those around us, a particularly luminous quality of light, the warmth of the sun, and we are able to see the beauty around us, our lives will be enriched.
Recently I visited India, and was moved by the beauty and spirit of the people and the country, whilst also recognising the immense poverty and struggle to simply survive. Jodhpur Blue is a painting of an elderly Indian woman wearing brilliant orange sari, sitting on the steps of a beautifully painted Jodhpur blue building.
When I visit France, It is frequently the fresh produce from the markets that inspires my work. When I return from a shopping trip with fresh bread and seasonal vegetables and place them on a favourite dish, my guests will find they have to wait until a pastel drawing is complete before they can have a taste.
What do you love about coffee pots and cutlery?
In a word, reflections. I love the abstract nature of distorted reflections which appeal to my interest in colour and pattern. I am always trying to create a feeling of calm, of home, of contentment and beauty in the simple things. I live in the moment, my domestic still lives aim to capture those moments which to me speak of contentment.
I feel like I have only just begun to think of myself as an artist, I have so much more to learn, technically and aesthetically and wish to continue to be brave enough to face new challenges, share my joy of painting and inspire anyone who has ever thought of being creative to have a go
See all of Jenny’s work below: