Awareness of the vulnerability of those living a precarious existence, teetering on the edge of life, inspires the foundation of my work. As I depict my subjects, they are captured in a moment of time, revealing their inner grace and dignity. By limiting color, and emphasizing texture in my graphite drawings, attention is focused on the essential elements of the subject. Complex images are formed that are reminiscent of the protoplasmic origins of life we share.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I attended SUNY at Purchase where I earned a BFA in 1978. While there I took courses in botanical illustration at the New York Botanical Gardens, Bronx. I also spent a semester studying design and anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Awareness of the common linkage found in our existence, the fragility and vulnerability of those living with the least, teetering on the edge of life, inspires the foundation of my work. As I depict my subjects, they are captured in a moment of time revealing their inner spirit and the beauty that can be found in the infinite details of their lives; the sun cracked earth, the glint of an eye, and the signs of struggle. I work from photos taken during my travels to the developing world where I have volunteered in projects to assist the local community. Experiences there, as well as my involvement in community service and animal rescue at home, have contributed to the evolution of my work.
As I draw, my work becomes a meditation, a prayer. By limiting color, and emphasizing texture in my pencil drawings, attention is focused on the essential elements of the subject. The simplicity and purity of pencil and paper lend an immediacy and intimacy to the work, creating interconnectedness between subject and viewer. My works have been exhibited at museums and galleries in the U.S and abroad, including the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, New York, SXU Gallery at St. Xavier University, and Ai Gallery at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, Illinois. In New York City, my work has been featured in exhibitions at Artists’ Space, Lincoln Center, Marymount Manhattan College Gallery, and the New York Botanical Gardens. My work has been published in “The Artists’ Magazine”, “American Artist Drawing”, “Art Calendar”, “The Other Side” as well as the books “Portrait Inspirations, “The Best of Oil Painting”, and “The Distillery”. I am a signature member of the Society of Animal artists and have received an Award of Excellence. I am presently working on a new series of drawings.
© Jeanette Martone