by Kim Larson

2 Comments

Jeannie Lynn Paske is a self-taught artist from Portland, Oregon. She creates other-worldly art using mythical creatures, large monsters, and swirling colors. As we shelter-in-place, her art transports to fantasy worlds we long to visit. We are delighted to have an enchanting piece by her in our Mermay exhibition.

Interview by Waiton Farrell

Jeannie Lynn Paske in her studio

WF: Hi Jeannie. How are you doing during shelter-in-place?

JLP: Hello, I’m doing okay physically, but am having somewhat of a more difficult time emotionally. Trying to balance the anxiety and worry I feel with the relief that I am healthy and have a home in which to take shelter. Since I normally work from home (my studio is in my converted garage) and am somewhat of a hermit, I feel grateful to have not had too much disruption in my day to day routine. I feel for those who are hurting right now though and am concerned about where this will take us all in the years ahead. 

Orbiting Sympathies of a Drifting Heart by Jeannie Lynn Paske

WF: Has this time at home been inspiring for your creative vision?

JLP: I have to be honest, it has been very difficult for me to focus, as I am concerned about friends and loved ones, but I am plugging away on multiple projects and am hopeful that things will eventually improve. My dogs are getting a lot of attention and they force me to get out of the house and go for several walks a day which I find both helpful and inspiring.

They Had Not Met for the First Time by Jeannie Lynn Paske

WF: Your blend of watercolor with pastel and other mediums creates a unique mist-like effect on your paintings, like a dream half-remembered. How did you discover your perfect combination to create this?

JLP: Thank you, I started with watercolor and ink exclusively not long after I dropped out of art school- mostly because they were much less expensive than acrylics or oils. I then discovered pastels and began to use them to layer on top of the paint as it helped to achieve more detail as well as a softness that I was looking for. Later I added charcoal and powdered pigment. The only downside to all of these things, is finding a fixative that isn’t horrible for the environment and my health. I currently use a spray varnish which requires multiple layers and has probably removed a few years from life, but it adds a beautiful gloss sheen that accentuates the pigments and saturates the colors.

The Orbiting Sympathies of a Drifting Heart

WF: Your piece The Orbiting Sympathies of a Drifting Heart for MERMAY inspires multiple emotions, among them hope and longing. What was your mindset as you created it?

JLP: I think the current state of affairs had a lot to do with how this piece turned out. There is a sense of sadness, but also comfort as one creature consoles the other. I think this is something that most of us yearn for during times of uncertainty. I usually tend to wear my heart on my sleeve in many of my creations however, so this piece is not unlike the majority of those that have come before it. I am happy to hear that you also see hope in there, as that is something I am always striving to depict in my work. The balance of hope and despair in this picture is a mirror into my own personal struggle, in which I am always rooting for hope to come out ahead. 

wandering and lost in a dimension invisible to the naked eye by Jeannie Lynn Paske

WF: You have multiple shows coming up in the next few months. What are you most excited about for the coming year?

JLP: Yes, I am so grateful to have the work for these shows to keep me distracted. In the year ahead, I hope to collaborate on a short film project and am looking forward to completing another illustrated book. 

Jeannie Lynn Paske in her studio

WF: What would you most like those that appreciate your work to know about it?

JLP: I guess my hope would be that they find a bit of solace in the work. Drawing and painting are one of the few things that help me feel grounded, as I am quite sensitive to the bombardment of activities that take place on this planet of ours. This world of peaceful creatures contemplating their surroundings is a reflection of how I process my own life and it offers me a bit of an escape from reality. If my art can assist just one other person in finding the doorway to this mysterious imaginary place, then I feel that I may have contributed something beneficial to society.

The Orbiting Sympathies of a Drifting Heart by Jeannie Lynn Paske

The Orbiting Sympathies of a Drifting Heart by Jeannie Lynn Paske is on view for Mermay through May 30, 2020.


2 Responses

Julie Prewett
Julie Prewett

May 30, 2020

I just want you to know that I have been finding solace in your work since I discovered it in a small gallery in Venice Beach several years ago. I have about 4 of your prints framed, including " Silent for a time ", which I purchased from that gallery. Your work means a great deal to me and always resonates. Much gratitude.

Lynn McNeill
Lynn McNeill

May 30, 2020

I have collected a few of Jeannie’s artwork and have followed her for several years. I find peace and solace in her world and creatures. I’m 70 years old and find Jeannie’s work especially comforting during these unsettling times.

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