Jenny began her artistic career with photography, which partially explains her work and how she selects and captures a scene she wants to preserve. She works in oils, a medium gives her more freedom to create depth. And depth is what the photographer sees when looking through the viewfinder of a camera. The photographer homes in on a particular scene that catches the eye, choosing a focal point and cutting out the extraneous—adjusting the depth of field—to focus on what is most important in the moment. It’s another form of artistic license. There’s a whole big scene out there; the person behind the camera lens sees what they want to capture, the same way an artist uses paint and paintbrush to capture that localized part of a landscape.
While studying photography, Jenny started taking art classes. “I always wanted to paint,” she said. “I’d shoot photos, then make sketches to design how I wanted to combine the images for a show or a theme competition.” She would adjust colors, crop, and arrange with photographer’s eye, and a lot of artistic license. Much as she does today with her paintings.
Jenny and her husband moved to Montrose, Colorado, from Colorado Springs, where she had been showing her work in various galleries. “I wanted to get away from selling art, though,” she said. She and her husband became involved in personal training. Painting took a back seat, but she did keep it up, sometimes plein air when out on hikes and nature walks, more often at home, working from photographs and sketches made on the trail.
“I wanted to keep in shape as I got older,” she explained. “We also like to spend a lot of time exploring the natural beauty of the area, and that also means staying physically fit.” She and her husband opened 550 Studio, where they work with private fitness clients. Jenny is a personal trainer and yoga instructor.
But her heart is in her art. Jenny soon began painting again, a little at first, more as time went by. Sometimes it was plein air when out on hikes and nature walks. More often it was at home, working from photographs and sketches made on the trail. As her inventory increased, she began taking some of her work to the fitness studio. Clients saw it, liked it, bought it! She started painting more.
And now? “I’m thinking about going back into art full time when I retire,” Jenny says. I’d like to be back in some galleries, do some shows,” like this one, A Clear Way of Seeing the November exhibit at the Montrose Center for the Arts.