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Jhenna Quinn Lewis

BIOGRAPHY

"I seemed to be born with a love and appreciation for art and nature, or maybe a better word to describe this is awe. Art is a universal language that can teach us about ourselves and our world. It is a part of all our lives and surrounds us even if we don't notice or understand it.
 
I have always had the need to create through images on canvas. The need is to foster an understanding of nature that is reflective, which suggests the presence of some unacknowledged mystery. A painting is a moment held in time: artists strive to capture something in that moment and give it eternity. For me, paintings have a meditative quality. Through the manipulation of composition, subject matter, color, light, and shading, I try to bring out a subtle inherent quietness that the viewer can be drawn into. My hope is to create a state of mind. I have always lived in two separate worlds that unite the real and the imagined.”
 
Jhenna Quinn-Lewis began studying art in 1976 at the university of Illinois. She went on to later become the art director-manager at the Ferndale Art Cooperative in Ferndale, California. She was also the owner/director of the Candy Stick Gallery in Ferndale. To further her own artistic endeavors, she studied with David A. Leffel, one of the country’s most respected and well know artists in 1999. Her work has been featured in many publications such as Southwest Art Magazine and US Art Magazine. Her paintings are also included in the corporate collections of Harry and David as well as a commissioned painting in the private collection of Lawton Chiles, the former Governor of California.

Artist statement:

Art is my way of communication and expression. It has been a driving force in me and my great love since childhood. From my earliest memories I have had this inherent fascination to express what I saw and to translate it. While my mediums have changed from my first attempts with crayon and manila paper to today with oil paint and linen canvas, I still endeavor to capture a wondrous glimpse of a moment held in time and to share it with the viewer.

I am drawn to simplicity of color, style, and composition. My inspiration comes from Japanese masters such as Utagawa Hiroshige, Uta Maro, and Hasegawa Tōhaku. In college, I took courses on the Japanese Tea Ceremony and the art of flower arrangement. It is there I discovered the tenets of wabi-sabi, the adherence to beauty in the imperfect, the impermanent, and in austerity. I remove all that is unnecessary in my compositions and exercise restraint and simplicity. I invite the viewer to slow down. Be patient and look. Pay attention to all the necessary details. I believe this is why my works impart a meditative feeling.

This quote from best expresses what I aspire to create in my paintings:

“The language of birds is very ancient, and, like other ancient modes of speech, very elliptical: little is said, but much is meant and understood...”

- Gilbert White (1720-1793)