Artist Spotlight Series: Jenny Nelson
It is long overdue that I share the work of artist Jenny Nelson.
She has long been a favorite at Hidell Brooks Gallery.
I am drawn to the diverse abstract work because it can also be interpreted as a loose landscape by clients. The palettes are soothing yet strong and always blend with the interiors while still making a statement.
Enjoy getting to know the talented…
Woodstock, New York
What is your training?
I attended Maine College of Art in Portland Maine, and I’m a graduate of Bard College,
where I received a scholarship to the Lacoste School of the Arts in France. I have been living in Woodstock, New York for nearly two decades, including a Residency at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony from November 2004-08.
What inspires you?
I tend to think more about discipline then inspiration. Showing up everyday in the studio and connecting with my work offers more opportunities for inspiration then outside forces. In this way, cleaning my brushes or mixing a palette, interacting with my materials, trigger the excitement and energy needed to begin the painting process.
It’s hard to pick a favorite painting. I created this painting in 1998 at The Lacoste School of the Arts in France. It was one of the first paintings in which I had successfully abstracted a still life. My teacher at the time told me to always keep this piece because he felt it was a pivotal moment in moving from representation towards abstraction. I feel rooted in drawing and structure so I have always kept this painting in my studio.
How has your area influenced your work?
Woodstock, NY is actually called the Colony of the Arts. The Catskill Mountains are steeped in artistic history. The Hudson River School in the 1800’s, and the founding of the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in 1905, right in Woodstock. Artists flocked here for the stunning natural beauty of the mountains and ethereal light. This is a very supportive community for creative people. Although I don’t look directly to the landscape for my work, living here does inform my paintings from the inside out.
The Garden Cafe. Beautiful organic, vegan cafe.
Green Lemonade. My husband and I make these a few times a week! ( kale, green apples, celery, lemon and parsley)
How do you balance personal life and work?
Happily, my life is so steeped in art from every angle that there seems to be no line between the two. When I’m not in the studio, I’m teaching my abstract painting class or workshops. When it’s movie night we usually choose something related to the arts or creativity. On vacation we always go somewhere we can visit museums, galleries, and the ocean! My best friends are artists, so our work is usually the subject of our conversations.
I’ve been interested lately in creating more three dimensional pieces, collage and small sculpture. A commission that pushed me in that direction would be challenging and force me to make new discoveries.
Favorite hostess gift to give?
In season, flowers from my garden.
I love vintage style dresses, so I would have to choose someone classic like Audrey Hepburn. Simple, elegant, clean lines; peter pan collars and cardigans.
Favorite up and coming artist?
London based painter, Vincent Hawkins. He paints, makes cardboard constructions, wall sculptures and monotypes. These different mediums all relate perfectly to each other, tied together through his common abstract language. I love it all.
What is your most treasured possession?
Old photos of my father.
What are you reading?
Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations
What are you listening to?
Everything from Bill Evans, to David Bowie to the Beach Boys. Working on my Solo show for Hidell Brooks, I am in the studio everyday! The winters are long here and the Beach Boys are actually keeping me sane at the moment. I needed something really sunny and fun!
What are your favorite blogs?
Hyperallergic, Painters’ Table, Abstract Critical
See more of Jenny Nelson’s beautiful portfolio HERE.
And PLEASE….I NEED YOUR HELP!
I would like to ask a favor, please vote for me in the Trad Home search for the “New Trads Rising Stars in Design.“
You can vote daily until March 15th and I would really appreciate if you popped over after you read my blog each day. It just takes a jiffy.
This opportunity would be a true design dream. There are so many talented designers and friends in the running. Be sure to check them out too.
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