Jenny Grant has been drawing and painting for most of her life, but she didn’t start showing her art in public until 2010. In 2012, she successfully exhibited in a solo show called, “The Inner Voice,” and today her work appears in Sweden and New Zealand, and is sold online to international collectors.
Alyice: Why did you choose acrylic as your primary medium?
Jenny: I love acrylics! It is such a versatile medium. Acrylics dry fast (I am very impatient), are water soluble and works very well with other mediums. Acrylics can be used on almost any kind of surface, too.
I do work with all kinds of mediums, such as acrylic paint, watercolor, ink, color pencils, fabrics, paper, photos. . . anything that comes my way. I work in many layers and my art is very rich in depth and texture.
Alyice: What is the most challenging part about working with acrylics?
Jenny: To get very fine lines. It is possible to get very fine lines with acrylics but with my fast way of working and impatience I find it diificult. I use other mediums, like color pencils and gel pens, when I want very fine lines. I also etch in the paint to get fine lines.
Alyice: What is the best part about working with acrylics?
Jenny: I love the versatility. Acrylic paint mixes well with other mediums. You can mix it with acrylic mediums to make it thicker or thinner or with sand, alcohol, salt, saw dust, almost anything… to get different effects. Try it! It is fun!
I love the way I can use the paint to glue paper to my canvas, spray with water to add drips and use stencils to build texture. I love when I do not have full control such as when the paint is dripping. I love that I can be either transparent or opaque.
Alyice: Do you do anything in particular to seal your art?
Jenny: I varnish the painting with matte varnish—either spray or a varnish medium. I love the matte finish. Due to the rich texture and the metallic paint I use, my work looks different in different light and angles. I do not like the glossy look when glares appear in the painting.
Alyice: What is your creative process like?
Jenny: My art is created while I paint. My intuition leads me through the process. I start with a lot of different colors and paint or with collaged paper. The imagery slowly develops during the process. I am trying not to worry about the final result until the last final layers. I do quite a lot of art journaling.
In my art journal I try new techniques and medium. I love working in the journal when I feel stuck; to loosen up and let go. I have much less focus on the result when working in my art journal.
Alyice: How has your style changed over the years?
Jenny: When I was a kid, I loved to draw. My drawings were very realistic and there was a lot of details. Then, during my teenage years, I almost only painted with water color and I loved it. I dropped all the details and I loved that the paint had a life of its own. I loved the fact that I had to live with the “mistakes” that I did. . . or rather. . . there were no mistakes. Every stroke was adding to the final result. I just had to be creative and incorporate “the mistakes” in the final picture.
When I started to paint with acrylics I had two young children. I did not have time for details. I loosened up even further and most my work was abstract with a lot of texture. During that period there were definitely no mistakes. . . only a lot of fun! Every stroke and every move was a part of the final painting and every stroke was important and lead me to the next. Even the strokes that I painted over was important to create the final piece.
Then suddenly, I started to use my drawing skills “on top of” my abstract art. All my skills merged together. Faces started to appear in my art and I am now almost obsessed with faces. I love to paint the abstract background and let the faces emerge through the process.
I am very curious how my art will evolve in the future. I have no plan or goal. I just let my intuition lead me and I trust that it will continue to take me to magic places.
Alyice: What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
Jenny: There are many “rules” about composition. I know them, but I try not to think about them. I listen to my inner voice and let that lead me! When I think too much of “rules of composition” or the end result I lose the flow. When I lose the flow nothing works!
Alyice: How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your acrylic pieces?
Jenny: This is hard. I am pricing my art mostly based on size and the time it took to complete the work. I also add to the price based on the emotions I have for the piece.
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Debbie Shirley attended a Liberal Arts college in Pennsylvania and received degrees in Fine Arts and Communication Arts. After graduation, she moved to New England and became a manager in the printing industry. . . but soon found spending her days in. . . read more
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