“I paint from memory, using sketches and photographs as reference, but informing the painting with everything I am thinking about in my life and the world at large. I use abstracted natural images for my narrative, communicating my emotional temperature through the use of color, shape and line. There is a strong spiritual influence in my work that accesses the sublime and the beautiful.” — JJ
Jennings began as a Color Field painter, working on canvas and linen, and maintained a studio at Waverly Studios in New York City. After moving to Amagansett in 1981, she switched her focus to landscape painting.
She received her BFA from the University of Dayton and attended The Dayton Art Institute, Antioch College and The Art Students League.
Jennings has exhibited at numerous galleries on Long Island and New York City, including Gallery North, Elaine Benson Gallery, Hampton Road Gallery, Glenn Horowitz Gallery, Lizan-Tops Gallery, Mark Humphrey Gallery, Pamela Williams Gallery, folioest, Chase Edwards Gallery, and The New York Design Center. Her paintings are in numerous corporate and private collections worldwide.
Jennings is a member of the East Hampton Arts Council, and from 1993 to 1998 was the Chair of the Andy Warhol Visual Arts Preserve Program. She has taught at the Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall and The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art. She currently has a painting studio in East Hampton and teaches oil and watercolor classes.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work
JANET JENNINGS speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ YOU’RE A PAINTER; WHAT SPECIFICALLY DO YOU PAINT WITH?
JJ/ Oil and watercolor. I have worked with oil and watercolor for over thirty years. At some point in working with them, I gained an ease and familiarity, dropping any hesitation. Working with other mediums which I am not as familiar with can be challenging, but can open up new methods of working and therefore point me in different directions that I may not have followed. Each time I return to oil and/or watercolor, I try to bring something with me from the experiments with the new mediums.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC PROCESS? HOW DO YOU BEGIN STARTING A PAINTING?
JJ/ My studio has multiple medium stations: Oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic and drawing. My camera is always available for taking photos of whatever pops into my mind. When I begin a new series, I usually start with multiple drawings in sketch pads following by color studies in watercolor. I try to summon the image before I start an oil, but it often morphs into something else along the way. When I am working on an oil series, the paintings are all hanging at the same time. I move from painting to painting throughout the day.
CM/ WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LIVE ON THE EAST END?
JJ/ I first came to the East End when I was a teenager. I grew up on Long Island so driving out to Montauk for the day was something we did often. After living in the city, I moved here permanently in 1981. The ocean, the landscape, the light, the countryside were the draw for me.
CM/ WHAT IS YOUR MOST CREATIVE SEASON?
JJ/ My favorite season is spring for it is the most optimistic. The winter is a favorite time to experiment with new ideas, but I am most productive in spring and summer.
CM/ DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THE ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST HISTORY OUT HERE?
JJ/ Certainly inspiration. I had the good fortune to meet many artists before they passed away and they offered me encouragement as well as advice.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY EAST END ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME?
JJ/ I own several Priscilla Bowden paintings, an Esteban Vicente and a Larry Rivers. I cherish them all.