I asked Jean what motivates her art and she immediately responded with her desire to use art for personal development and the encouragement of others. She practices a philosophy to “be the best I can be and to empower others to reach their potential.”
Unlike many artists, Jean does not center on her technique, skill, professional accolades, or final results of her painting. Rather, she places the journey she experiences as an artist as her focal point and driving force behind her artistic endeavors. She approaches art as a way of finding happiness and using that to inspire others.
Humble and sincere, Jean treasures the opportunities her art allows her to meet new people and learn new things. The interaction between herself and others and the dialogue that her art naturally ignites with others are her motivation to continue painting.
Meeting new people through art shows and the Florida shops featuring her paintings are what “expands my inner self…opens up my life.” Jean says this journey has led her to more success with showing and selling her paintings, and that success has helped her build confidence.
Jean had visited a favorite boutique many times, envisioning her art hanging on the walls there. “I had a long term goal to have my paintings for sale in my favorite boutique downtown.” Recently, “the owner accepted 6 of my paintings and sold 5 in one day!” Since then her paintings have swiftly sold, keeping her busy continuously creating new works of art for the shop.
She says she particularly wants her art and role as an artist to inspire more women to dig deep down in themselves to find happiness and to know they can empower themselves to find that joy.
Her history of working with children to overcome obstacles to reach their potential also comes into play. She taught students with disabilities how to adjust, use tools to accomplish goals, and for learning assistance. She retired as an occupational therapy assistant for 21 years in the public school system, and worked part-time for private facilities until the 2020 pandemic. This background influences her philosophy toward art and life.
Another catalyst for her painting is that she has “an addiction to putting paint on canvas to express my joy in the beauty of life.” Referring to her spiritual mentor, Jean shares, “I have had an awesome mentor who is guiding me in my endeavor to express my joy in life.”
Jean has only recently explored art. She started taking art classes after she retired about five years ago. She’d always enjoyed many types of arts and crafts activities but had never had any instruction.
She wanted to learn how to express herself through art so began classes at the local Dunedin Fine Arts Center. Her art mentors are both teachers she met at Dunedin Fine Arts Center, artists Loraine Potocki and Candy Schultheis.
She loves Loraine’s artistic style and as an instructor. When Jean started taking art classes, “There was something in me that had to get out,” and she enjoyed learning painting techniques from Loraine.
She’s also inspired by Candy’s different, intuitive style and approach. Jean learns multi-media techniques from Candy using a variety of tools like decoupage, rollers, credit cards, paper, and household objects to create interest in pictures. Candy directs Jean to “forget everything. Let your heart speak.”
When asked what she’d be celebrating one year from now, she simply states, “I am in a local art show with other women like me.”
The vibrance, color, and joy emanating from Jean’s art move people to her and to dialogue, a perfect example of how “Culture and the arts create a resonance of shared feeling in people’s hearts and bring them together.”
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