Mingling brush strokes and color to achieve a nearly ethereal quality in oil on canvas, the contrasting intensity of Jenny’s portrait studies are almost shocking. There is a sense of knowledge in the eyes of her models as though they’ve experienced more than they’re willing to share; yet with what appears to be some intrinsic understanding of these experiences, she manages to capture a depth and emotion which urges the viewer to linger.
Born in England in 1935, Jenny spent the better part of the first decade of her life away from home at Boarding School. Separated from her beloved mother for most of her childhood, Jenny, like so many other children of her generation in that part of the world, was forced to stand on her own feet at a very young age. Harsh discipline at school, the terror of war being a constant reality, and fear of what the future might hold molded this little girl into a willful, headstrong young lady. Despite her parents’ wish that she pursue a university degree, Jenny had ambitions to lead a more glamorous life. Dreams of becoming a famous actress or even a pilot once thwarted, (to her intellectual parents’ relief and her dismay) Jenny was persuaded to attain a more practical skill.
A typing and shorthand course opened up an opportunity in reporting for the local paper. This would also eventually lead Jenny and her first husband to cross paths. After eleven years with the dashing young journalist, and their two children, Jenny’s life took a harsh turn when she was widowed. Having moved on from journalism to antique dealing, she also attempted to move on in her personal life. Although neither of her subsequent marriages proved to be successful, her antique business expanded and provided her with a prosperous career.
Throughout, Jenny continued to search for a more personally fulfilling venture, trying her hand at playwriting and producing. Eventually, at the age of 60, a brief program of self-discovery and an emotional encounter with the facilitator, a gentle Irish nun, steered her towards painting as a means of expression and personal therapy. Finally, Jenny had found her true niche. The joy of creating and bringing a canvas to life provided her with a peace and happiness she’d spent most of her life searching for. Today, at the age of 78, Jenny is a vibrant, exuberant lady, with an amazing talent, creating paintings that speak not only of studious effort and growth in her art, but are also a testament to years of a life fully lived.