Artist Statement

My work takes two very different directions -- 


The assemblage pieces are the result of a very controlled process where I start with a basic concept or plan, often because I'm inspired by the character and personality of a particular object. I like to assemble complicated and flawed worlds with their citizens, gods, demons, and animals. The more aged and broken the pieces, the more interesting the final scene becomes because it carries the history of those objects and all the previous people and settings they have known. An old toy or doll that is beaten down by age and abuse can become born again as the lead in a warped morality play or dark fairy tale, bringing all its past experience and wisdon. The scene is often both charming and vaguely unsettling, professing that alternative worlds show their beauty through the eye of the right beholder. These worlds aren't for everyone. 


When painting, I use an approach that builds the painting from the background to the foreground up as I carefully watch for the subject to emerge. As I layer the oversaturated colors and criss cross them, I rotate the canvas,  squint, repeat, and wait for it to come to life. I use paint, pencils, pastels, and some collage elements. Eventually I regain some control and bring the painting into focus. I choose the main characters and begin to outline and define them. I paint over parts of the painting that block my progress, sometimes painting over things that are interesting, but not right for the way the painting is evolving. My subconscious looks for science fiction imagery, trying to tap into an H.P. Lovecraft story or drift onto the cover of an Astounding Stories magazine from the 50's. Hieronymous Bosch's epic and beautifully bizarre triptych's also call. Bright colors and cheerful ridiculousness smile brightly from the work.


The unifying theme in both avenues of my work is the encapsulation of a complete world that continues to exist and thrive even when no one is watching, Maybe the characters change position, just slightly, when no one is there to see.


© 2016 by Jenifer J. Renzel

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