My artistic career began a little later in life than is perhaps usual… But having found that vein in me is absolutely fantastic and today I would never be able to live without my painting…
“To Paint Is To Breathe” is my own slogan and saying that describes what painting is to me … I am in my own world when I create. There I can breathe, feel calm, and have free play and access to my inner emotional life!
I have always been attracted to painting women, lately, animals too and I like to get caught up in the details! I love working to bring out the depth and a feeling in facial expressions!
Today I mainly use oil and prefer to paint in a larger format. I am passionate about constantly taking new paths in art and would like to create series in different themes!
My inspiration comes from everything that makes me feel something strongly. Journeys, nature, persons I meet, an experience, or simply an inspiring film …
A special technique that I came up with during my artistic journey, I call my “Wallpaperart”. Here I use carefully selected wallpapers as “background”. Based on that, the motif and different effects emerge, through coloring in different shades and details! The finished result is completely unique and gives me a feeling that this is my very own way of painting!
Hello Jennie! You say your artistic career started a little later in life. Could you tell us a bit more about that, when did you realize you want to paint?
Jennie: I am an artist that is completely self-taught, and when I think about it, I have probably always been very creative in almost everything I do. I am also a very multifaceted person by nature … When I was little, I often felt the need to refurbish and try to set things up differently to create new and different rooms. I have also changed jobs quite often as I always wanted to try new things. I have always created my own birthday cards and for my wedding, I made our invitation cards, church booklets, wedding booklets, and I was very careful with the color theme! I also find great joy in creating oases in our garden in different themes. Painting and drawing were never included at all… But, with these examples in mind, I can easily see a common thread through my life, and which would lead me to the start of my artistic career and also, my way of painting!
When my employer went bankrupt in 2016, I ended up in a situation where I had to work hard every day to look for a new job. But aside from that, a very strong feeling came over me that said I must start painting…. It felt like something was calling out to me. Yes, I know it sounds weird, but it is exactly what it was! I bought my first brushes, two canvases, and acrylic paint and created my first painting ever. I can honestly say that both I and my husband were amazed at the result … I actually could paint!
Tell us about your artwork, style, subject matter, etc.
Jennie: During my first years, I used acrylic. I think I felt a sense of security in it, as I tried to find my style … For a while, I was into both glitter and gold since I thought it gave a little more effect to the somewhat “silent” feeling that the acrylic paint can sometimes give. I also used some wooden boards that my husband sawed out for me. I thought painting on wood was extremely exciting and it still attracts me today, especially during the summer, when the sun and the heat is here… why I do not know hahaha. I dilute the acrylic until it becomes quite watery and then let it float in grooves on the wood. It gives very nice effects, and the colors become stronger. Then I paint the motif on top of it, and the result is usually very nice.
Later I got the idea to use wallpaper as background. I have chosen to call it my “wallpaperart”. For me, it becomes an exciting journey with every painting… since I never really know what the end result will be, as I only have a vision of it when I start. One example I can mention is the tiger. When I choose wallpaper, I usually have a feeling of what I want to paint, such as a tiger for example. But I do not yet know the motif´s position, colors, or shades. So, when I see the wallpaper I want, I can imagine the tiger’s position and also see which colors should be changed in the background/details to achieve the vision I have.
Since I was happy with working with acrylic, it was natural for me to start with acrylic on my wallpaper as well.
The difficult thing about working with wallpaper is that you cannot change anything afterwards. You cannot delete a bad brushstroke!
With acrylic, you can paint over mistakes, and you can wipe off oil paint with a little solvent. But with wallpaper it is impossible. The reason is that the wallpaper absorbs the color directly, so what you paint, stays there.
For a long time, I had been curious about trying to paint with oil. So, when I tried oil paint for the first time in 2020, I was hooked! The oil, unlike acrylic, gives such fine tones and depth and, when working with it you work in different layers. Each layer must dry before you add the next. This means that the oil painting has a significantly longer drying time, but the result is worth it. Today oil is my first choice, but I still use acrylic for the background from time to time.
My art always reflects feelings that have awakened in me for some reason, and I have always been attracted to painting women. Maybe because I can identify myself as a woman and our emotional register is often very broad…
I love bringing out the depth and the feelings in facial expressions, especially the eyes and I can easily get caught up in the details. I am passionate about constantly finding new paths in art and I really like trying new motifs, color combinations and, lately, I have been painting a lot of wild animals. Now I like to combine women and animals in my paintings. Animals are something that I think evokes emotions in all humans – Different animals evoke different emotions and combining these two feels very exciting!
Could you walk us through your process? How much planning do you do before you jump into creating an artwork? If you do, what are you trying to solve at each stage of it?
Jennie: When I plan my painting, I make sure that I have the colors and attributes I need in order to achieve my vision. However, the vision can change a bit during the journey, as the nuance can be such that I am not happy with it. Then I must imagine another shade and adjust accordingly. Since I usually paint according to my vision, it can sometimes be difficult to get exactly the reflections I want to achieve. Sometimes it can be a bigger challenge, as in some wallpaperart for example. Then I must take it a little bit easier, especially in certain steps of the painting as I have to get it right the first time around because as I said earlier it is not possible to adjust or change anything in those paintings… In the wallpaperart, the sides should also be attached, which should be done nicely. It usually is a challenge and I recommend that these works of art are framed. But with the oil paintings and the acrylic paintings, where I always paint the edges, these paintings, are very beautiful, even without a frame.
I love your slogan “To Paint Is To Breathe”. Is there a message you are trying to give with each piece, or is it something else?
Jennie: My slogan comes from the feeling I get when I paint. It is extremely liberating to be able to express my emotions through art and I feel good when I disappear into my own world where I am fully concentrated on my work and it gives me a huge energy boost.
Yes, I try to convey a message of emotions through my art, but then of course it is always up to the viewer to interpret the painting and have their own feelings about it. Sometimes work can evoke something completely different in the person who sees the work than what the work itself was meant to convey… are you with me? What I mean is that the interpretation and the feeling it evokes always lies with the spectator, not in the mediator!
What is the work you’ve done that you’re the most excited about, and why?
Jennie: Every painting I do originates from a feeling that has arisen in me for some reason. Therefore, it is difficult to say that I am more excited by a particular one. However, so far two paintings have made me feel that “This work has really made me grow as an artist”. The first one was my very first oil painting, “Floating under the surface”. When I came up with the shifts/movements and fluid transitions that I have been looking for so long, it was extremely uplifting, and it aroused even more creative desire in me. I also think this first oil painting, like a wave, made me create three additional works in the same series. My four paintings in the “woman underwater” series are:” Floating under the surface”, ”Embraces the light”, ”Peaceful” and ”Surrounded by Satisfaction”.
The other one I was very excited about was my first Wallpaperart, “Flows between day & night”. The feeling of seeing all the details and colors that emerged made the painting so unique, and I still live with that feeling today. Getting the wallpaper to completely change colors, structure and make it display something completely different has been very uplifting and exciting. Every “wallpaperart” I make, creates the same kind of elation every time!
I am happy to help others and have always been that way, ever since I was little. I think making art for donations gives me a lot of purposes and is also very important for me because it is a way for me to show appreciation. I did a painting last year that was to honor all the staff who work so hard in healthcare to care for the sick, especially now during the pandemic of Covid-19. I donated the painting to our hospital in Malmö where I live. I thought it was the least I could do to show them my appreciation in their work! The same with the paintings for the conservation of the rainforest. In 2020, I began a collaboration with the entrepreneur, the co-founder of Fashion for Conservation, and Cacao-Center, Ava. J. Holmes and Cacao Center located in Puerto Maldonao, Peru. 3 paintings were created with the purpose that the motifs will be sold as Fine Art Prints in their Cacaoshop. It feels fantastic to be able to contribute with the three paintings: “Cocoa Plant”, “Forest Love” and “Freedom”. The proceeds go in full to the conservation of the Amazon’s animals and plant kingdom. A later agreement was made with Sam Zwicker at the Hoja Nueva research and wildlife reintroduction center, Las Piedras region of Madre de Dios, Peru. Two of the motifs are sold in the Hoja Nueva webshop, where all proceeds go in full to the conservation of the rainforest.
I have received a lot of response and appreciation for it, but the important thing is the message of help and the support needed!
Tell me more about your inspirations that you derive from things that make you feel something strong.
Jennie: Mostly in my encounter with people and nature, as there is always an exciting transfer that can leave both emotional and memorable traces. It can be trips where the surroundings are exceptionally attractive or beautiful exotic nature. I am always very inspired by our travels. Both I and my husband love the heat, so we usually travel to the south on vacation. The climate affects me strongly and makes my imagination awaken and once we are home, I am always full of ideas that are associated with my feelings and I can hardly wait to make them come alive on the canvas!
There are people I have met or things that I experienced that may have inspired me, just by being who they are. There are examples of people who have been outright mean, but also people who have been so wonderful that it has aroused such an overwhelming feeling in me that the image that emerges in me, later becomes my painting. Painting has a calming effect on me and when I’m stressed or need to clear my head for a while, it’s nice to step into my bubble and just enjoy the brushstrokes for a while. Sometimes I feel more receptive to being inspired and sometimes less. There is nothing that can be forced, and sometimes I need a break… a couple of years ago I became very frustrated with it and tried to push something forward and to paint anyway. It did not go well at all and today I have learned to understand it more. I must breathe in the painting and get energy from it, not let the painting take my energy away from me! It’s just like with love, you should get energy from it… because love does not take away your energy. Last year, I posted on social media how I think it is: “To me, Painting is breathing. Breathing is meditation. Everything is about loving, but for the opportunity to do so, every ounce of emotion must be allowed and flow out on the canvas and purify my soul”!
Who are a few artists/people that really inspire you?
Jennie: There are so many talented artists and just as many different styles and tastes. I have always been fascinated by artists who create fine art and paintings that are very much like the original, that is highly realistic painting! Since I know how much concentration and how much practice is required to be able to produce exact details, I am mainly impressed by self-taught artists. I would never go to art school or take lots of courses because I think I would lose my unique touch and I would lose interest in that area! Of course, it is always each of their own, but for me, it is like that, and I do not think I am completely alone in my thoughts … just look at the greatest artists of all time… everyone was self-taught! I believe in painting completely from within and not allow myself to be influenced so much based on how things should be or be performed. That is at least how I achieve the best results.
There are several artists who I think are amazingly talented but there are some who have inspired me a little more, mainly because their work is so close to what I myself love to paint…
The first is Lena Danya! The breadth of her paintings is fantastic. She paints nature and women, which she does so well. Lena´s paintings are also highly realistic, which I love!
The other one is also a self-taught, artist! When I had my exhibition at The Art Fair Luxembourg in 2020, I walked around and looked at all the fantastic art that was there and ended up in front of an absolutely breathtaking painting. I stood there for a very long time and admired the work. It was a painting of a leopard in bright colors with a background of graffiti. The artist’s name was Dave Baranes and I have followed him religiously ever since.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Jennie: I am always so happy for all the reactions I get for my art because I want it to be here to touch others. Of course, I am affected by all the superlatives that people comment on, or when people write messages to me specifically to comment on my way of painting and how nice they think it is. It absolutely warms the heart. And also, to see the feeling in the eyes of a buyer is always touching!
An example is a couple of people who followed me (on social media) and who wrote that one day they will buy a painting from me, that it will be the first thing they do when they start getting a regular income.
Another customer bought one of my underwater paintings and used some of her inheritance after her mother´s death. The motif reminded her of her and, because it was called “Peaceful” it resonated so well with her after her mother’s passing. Now she has renamed the painting after her mother. It touched me a lot and it feels like that painting ended up in exactly the right home! When I get orders, it is a kind of a validation of those people like my art and, I am always just so happy when people contact me …
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Jennie: I want to interpret that question in two ways, and I will answer both…
I am convinced that I will stick to my very own style and allow myself to follow the inner voice that leads me in the painting…. Authenticity is important!
That way, people who like my style will find it themselves, because everyone is drawn to what they like, right?
When it comes to physically reach out, exhibitions and marketing is a must. Having a digital and socially active presence is also very important. A while ago, I finally got my website ready, which I am so proud to have managed to do myself. There, people can go and check out my art.
I have my Instagram page which has gained a lot of interest in recent months and, last year I made my own logo for artbyjennie, mostly because I think it creates clarity for me and my art. Since the beginning of last year, I have been part of Konstlobbyn, which creates a lot of very good opportunities for its artists, with exhibitions and promotions. It is also where I sell fine art prints of some of my paintings.
I always have my business cards ready, and I actually always carry flyers with me, wherever I go. I talk a lot about my art with both people I know, but also those who I don´t. I must dare, but it’s an obstacle that I’m constantly learning to overcome!
What are you working on right now? And what’s next on the horizon?
Jennie: Right now, I am working on several works parallelly. I have a couple of larger oil paintings right now with some exciting motifs and, also a wallpaper piece. Last year I had the honor of painting a Brazilian photo model who contacted me. The painting and some writings about it were later published in the local newspaper El Tempo in Menaus. Now I am going to do another painting of her but I have not really decided which one yet… So that painting is also underway.
From the end of June until August, I will, through ArtQueen (Artqueenbyrebecca), have an exhibition in Malmö, Sweden, at Teaterhotellet.
Then on July 23 – 29, there will be an exhibition through the Konstlobbyn, at Galleri Pionen, Vaxholm in Stockholm.
I was contacted and selected this spring, to be included in the artbook Nordic Art Guide. It is an art book that will be published in the autumn of 2021. It will be sent out to art galleries, art museums, and art collectors in all the Nordic countries. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.
It is so incredibly fun and exciting and right now I am in the cover competition, where the winner gets their artwork printed on the cover of the book. If I win, it would open up so many more opportunities for me …
At the end of the year, I will contribute to an exhibition at World Trade Center in my hometown, Malmö, Sweden.
So, there are so many fun things happening all the time and I look forward to new opportunities for me and my art. Keep your eyes open, for everything new that happens, I post information about it on my website and on social media.
You are so welcome!