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Brushstrokes of the Lowcountry

   Story By: Cindy Reid

Photography By: Paul Nurnberg

Internationally known artist Jennifer J L  Jones creates gorgeous abstract paintings that intertwine nature and emotion in a wholly unique vision.  She says, “I have always been nature inspired. I create contemporary work representative of emotion. Everyone is drawn to the work for different reasons. Often people feel what I have painted, even in this abstract form. It is a silent language but universal and based in nature. For some people this enables them to connect to abstract art for the first time.” 

After living in Atlanta for many years Jennifer knew she wanted to leave the city, but was having difficulty finding just the right place. “I wanted to be by the water, not too far south but also not too far north”, says Jennifer, “I craved finding a place that really felt like home. My parents live on a sailboat and when I described what I was looking for , they said it made them think of a sweet little place they would pass through while sailing. “ She was visiting Hilton Head Island and decided to drive to Beaufort and check it out. She says, “ Port Royal was exactly what I had been looking for and everything fell quickly into place. It was all very serendipitous .”

Jennifer is finding the palette of the lowcountry to be an inspiration for her most recent work. She says, “Being here has brought new shapes and light to my eye, which is a reflection of my new surroundings.” A new painting titled Meithrin is evocative of  “the reeds and the tides coming in and out at the Sands beach,” Jennifer says, “and the name is Welsh , which is part of my roots and heritage, for ‘nurture’ because this new sense of place and home gives me nurturing & comfort every day.” ( Meithrin is a 72″ x 72″ mixed media painting on wood, available at Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta GA) 

Evolution

Jennifer says her paintings “used to be more ethereal color fields, now they have more gestured brushstrokes, patterns and range of motion.”  Because of all of her enriching experiences that include domestic and international travels, her art “grows and the progression involves many shifts and changes in my work. My work is becoming more and more bold, yet also still offering a dimension that viewers find soothing at the same time.” She eschews canvas, and paints instead on paper and large handmade cradled panels of  Baltic birch wood. She says, “I enjoy the surface of wood more, and I can see the pattern of the grain . Sometimes a painting will spring from the natural grain, a pattern or shape I find interesting.” 

Regarding her paintings deep colors and glazed surface Jennifer says, “I had very traditional training and was encouraged to find my unique style, so I have done a lot of experimentation over the years. I use layers upon layers and different glazing techniques. When that’s all finished I put on a final varnish, sometimes to bring out the color and also as a protectant.” The final result is a profound experience of light, color and an emotionality not always seen in abstract art. The appealing richness of the color combined with the engaging composition make the viewer want to linger, to truly experience the painting.

Serenata

In addition to having her art in prestigious galleries here and abroad, Jennifer has published  Serenata,  a lush coffee table book that showcases her series of mixed media paintings created over one year, all inspired while living in Italy for a month. Essays and contributions from a selection of   collectors, gallerists, contemporaries, writers, and art critics enhance the gorgeous art. As Jennifer writes in her introduction, “ The Serenata series is a synthesis that represents the profound path of self-discovery and growth I experience every day and view as a continuing revelation and manifestation of my muse. My intent is that the positive energy conveyed through these paintings will be felt and promulgated by all those who see and experience them.” ( http://www.blurb.com/b/2699459)

Always an Artist

Originally from rural Virginia and then Florida’s “Space Coast”, Jennifer’s constant and unwavering goal was to be an artist. In Florida she started advanced art classes and she says, “ I was very determined by ninth grade, and I wanted to make sure I went to the best art college.”  Her hard work and innate talent created that opportunity and she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. 

Further hard work and talent led her to be represented by select high end galleries and for her paintings to be in demand by private collectors and corporate clients. Her paintings can be found in numerous world wide collections and at  the Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Studio, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Scana Energy, the Burj Dubai, and the United States Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. She has also completed large scaled commissioned works such as the lobby of the McLean Hilton in Washington, DC and the Northside Hospital Lobby in Atlanta, GA and most recently the Mayo Clinic and the Baptist Hospital Lobby in Jacksonville, Florida. Jennifer is currently working on two commissioned paintings for the office lobby of the President of  the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA. 

Due to her success Jennifer is working on another book because as she says, “I have been a working artist for eighteen years and because of that artists ask me for help and advice, so this book is all the different things that have happened to me. All the lessons I have learned in my journey, from life, art and love that helped open the doors for me. They may have been hard but I have enjoyed learning from each lesson. This is a way I can  contribute and help encourage, support and give back.”

Port Royal Life

Like many who chose the lowcountry ( or feel chosen by it ) as their home, Jennifer is enchanted not only by the visual beauty, but by the friendliness found here. She says, “ It is so peaceful here- I am not looking over my shoulder all the time! I’ve met and made wonderful friends here.  I feel like everyone looks out for each other. I feel connected, grounded, and very much at home. It feels like anything is possible.” Her home and studio are only a few blocks apart and she loves being able to “walk  to work” everyday. Jennifer says , “This place , this beautiful place, nourishes me on all levels, in a huge way.”

For further information visit her website www.JenniferJLJones.com

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