Mentors – 2 Visions
“YOU ARE A PAINTER, JENNY!”
It was in 1995 that Jenny Jackson first heard, with amazement, the magic words that were to transform her life: “You are a painter, Jenny! Go home and paint!”
With no art training or experience, only a lifetime of studying the work of great artists in galleries and exhibitions, Jenny found herself painting. In 2002 she left the grey skies of England for the colourful Western Cape with its stunning sea and landscapes, to settle finally in Hermanus. And it was here, her life already full, that she made an artistic leap forward with the support of the leading contemporary gallery owner in the area. Jozua Rossouw gave Jenny her first solo exhibition in 2011 and a second one a year later at the Rossouw Modern, both so well received that she was inspired to continue her artistic journey with total dedication.
Now owning her own gallery in High Street, Hermanus, Jenny is at her easel every day. “I am lucky to have a studio at my gallery so I can paint AND meet people. For me, the huge benefit of selling my own work is the interaction with everyone who likes it as well as my clients!” Jenny’s main subjects are portraits (real and imaginary) and still life; she paints in oils directly onto the canvas with a palette knife: “ I love the freedom a knife gives me; besides, brushes take too much time to clean and I like to work fast.”
Jenny’s work now hangs in homes around the world; she was exhibited at the 2015 International Fair in London where one of her paintings was illustrated in the publicity catalogue alongside the works of famous artists such as David Hockney.
It was also at The Rossouw Modern that Jenny first met the young Zim artist Obert Jonwe. “His style and palette were instantly recognisably African, with its characteristic strong colouring and vibrant movement. But there was something else – I can’t explain what exactly, but I sensed a hidden potential to go deeper.” Jozua suggested she mentor Obert. So she lent him thickly illustrated art books dedicated to the works of Classical and Impressionist artists and while encouraging him to retain his culture suggested experimenting with softer colours and a wider range of subjects, including still life’s. Meanwhile, inspired by Obert’s unusual receptivity and ever-evolving creativity, Jenny found herself being challenged to up her own game – leaving her comfort zone, to tackle larger canvases and being more playful with colour and topic. Their artistic journey has already lasted several months and looks set to continue into the future to the professional benefits of both painters. The exhibition ‘Mentors – 2 Visions’ is the direct result of that journey.
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