Congratulations to this years Art Challenge winner, Jenedy Paige! Her acrylic canvas paintings portray beautiful life-like images that will make you take a second look. Find out more about her and her artwork below.
1. What was your inspiration for your winning painting?
I was actually struggling with some anxiety earlier this year, and I wanted to capture those emotions in a painting, but none of my sketches seemed right. Then one morning my five-year-old son walked into my bathroom dragging a black balloon behind him, and it clicked, and I knew that was exactly what I needed to paint. To read even more about the painting, you can visit my site: http://www.jenedypaige.com/gallery/let-go/
2. What medium and technique did you use for your painting?
I paint with oils mainly on double oil primed linen canvas mounted to panels. I work in relatively thin layers of paint, and let each layer dry before adding another on top.
3. Do you have a favorite medium and what is it?
Winsor & Newton Liquin Light Gel Medium, I use this during the last stages of my painting when I’m really trying to clean up and tighten my detail.
4. When did you first discover your creativity?
I didn’t decide to be an artist until my Senior year of High School. Up until that point art to me was simply making something look three dimensional on a two dimensional surface. But then I had an amazing art teacher my senior year of high school that had us keep art journals, and I realized that art was really about communicating a message, and that is what inspired me to be an artist. I felt like I had a lot to say and art was going to be my voice.
5. Are you self-taught or where did you learn?
I actually don’t claim much natural ability at all, and when I got to college I was very overwhelmed and felt like I had a lot of making up to do. However, at BYU-Idaho, I was blessed to have some incredible teachers and mentors like Leon Parson and Wade Huntsman, who taught me how to draw and paint and communicate through art. They also instilled within me a sort of quest for excellence, and wouldn’t let me settle for anything less than my best.
6. What is the process you take when creating your art?
My process always begins with writing. Collecting all my thoughts in words first, helps making the transition into images easier. I try to come up with symbols to match the ideas I’m hoping to convey, and then sketch out different ways to combine those symbols into an image. Usually I have to edit and simplify and cut back til I get to the heart of the message. I find the simpler the design the stronger the message. Once I know what I want to paint, I have a photo shoot with a model, and then I start painting. You can actually watch the process for “Let Go” on my blog: http://jenedypaigepaintings.blogspot.com/2016/07/let-go-process.html
7. Who is your favorite artist?
Such a tough question. I obviously love some of the old favorites like Sargent, Caravaggio, Norman Rockwell, Carl Bloch, Waterhouse, and William Bouguereau. But I have a lot of current artists I follow too: Casey Baugh, David Kassan, Robert Liberace, Amy Lind, Casey Childs, and Jeff Hein to name a few.
8. What are you currently painting/creating?
My next series is going to focus on the nature of the soul, which I believe constitutes both the body and the spirit of man. I’ve found that spiritual and physical strength are connected, and when I strengthen one it enhances the other. So I’ll explore this concept through some figurative paintings of various athletes.
9. What advice could you give to a beginner wanting to start painting?
Before you begin painting, start observing. I tell all of my students, the first step is to look. Most of the time our mind thinks it already knows what something looks like, but if we take the time to really look, we’ll often be surprised by what we really see. Then I would suggest, draw, draw, draw, and practice, practice, practice. Don’t be frustrated if your painting is ugly at first. Most of my paintings are ugly for days and days. You have to be patient. If you give your paintings enough time, they almost always will turn the corner from ugly.
10. What’s first on your agenda when you get to London?
As a portrait and figurative painter, I’m dying to visit the National Portrait Gallery. I’m always inspired by the originals of great artists.