Saturday, April 26, 2008

Interview with Jean Hood

Like many artists I've interviewed lately, Jean is a member of the VAST group that brings so much inspiration and joy to me. Jean is an active, vibrant member of the group and I've had many opportunities to connect with her through the magic of cyberspace. It's with great pleasure I bring you this interview.

"I love to paint!" Jean tells me, "I simply love to paint! My main focus when I'm creating is always Color, Design, and Composition. I love good strong color, and work to bring as much as I can into any medium I'm working with. I paint mostly watercolor and oils, but enjoy mixed media from time to time. I also enjoy making hand made greeting cards."

Jean's a prolific artist, as seen on her website and in her shop on Etsy.

"I paint with bold, clean strokes," Jean continues, "thick with rich, sometimes surprising, colors that express what I see and feel when painting. My hope is that in the end I have engaged the emotions of those who look at my work."

Long before Jean picks up her brushes, she uses design and composition principles to outline her work. "Then I paint with abandon and joy. The resulting work shows my personal application of impressionism with a minimalist quality."

Inspiration often comes from what Jean sees on walks around her ranch located on the historically rich, brushy edge of Texas Hill Country. "Daily, I encounter constant contrasts and variety in texture and color - the dichotomy of harmony and discord; lushness and barrenness; serenity and energy. My challenge is to show the complexity of creation by painting intimate, personal portraits of nature. Whether choosing a landscape or still life, close observation reveals the ordinary as extraordinary."

Jean's faith also inspires her. "It keeps beauty in the forefront of my mind, and I try to portray beauty and peace in everything I create. If I can send beauty and peace to a purchaser of my work, I've done my job." That's been her focus since 1997 when she started painting. "There will always be difficulties and hardships in life. If not mine at the present, in the life of someone I know and love. This is not a perfect world. So, what keeps me above the swirl of life's challenges and beauty is peace. Those two words are not easy to create, but I strive to do so every day in my life, and in my art."

Along with her work as an artist, Jean has participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Louisiana's West Baton Rouge Parish for years. She's participated in events in Kinney County and Uvalde County in Texas, as well. "Last year in my home county of Kinney, I donated three paintings for drawings to raise money. This year, I donated two. In addition, I've donated several paintings to the local CHEER, a cancer awareness organization, to help them raise money. They have provided many free mammograms in our small community. This cause is near and dear to my heart, as I lost my precious sister, Lisa, last year to breast cancer. It gives me so much pleasure to support these organizations with my paintings."

For fun, Jean listens to everything from Joe Cocker to Mozart! "I play music when I'm in my studio, and I play it very loud. Often I don't even know it's on, but it's the first button I push when I walk in the door." She subscribes to various art magazines and is an avid reader. "I have a wonderful collection of art books, which are a constant source of inspiration for those dry times!"

As to what shoes Jean wears, the answer is simple: sturdy. "I would fall off anything else."

You may find more about Jean and her artwork on her website, blog, and shop.

Jean is a member of VAST, BBEST, and an art salon with a wonderful group of artists from the US, Canada, France and Australia.


Jean Levert Hood said...

Thank you so very much, Janyce! I can't tell you how much I appreciate this!

Judy Nolan said...

This is an excellent portrait of Jean. I enjoyed reading it.--JN Originals

dianeclancy said...

Hi Janyce and Jean,

This is a lovely post!! Such fun to find out more about Jean and to see more of Jean's work. Her service in VAST is MUCH appreciated!!

~ Diane Clancy