Jeannie Vodden lives in the foothills of the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her charming cottage studio is located on the Jackson Creek right off Highway 88 in Jackson, Ca. This is where she dedicates her time to expressing her love and passion for art in painting, drawing, teaching and continuing study of art and philosophy.
Jeannie, whose media is most often watercolor, is a versatile painter of portraits, still life, floral, landscape and fantasy.
Forms and textures:
I love painting the complex textures, forms and patterns found in nature. The scales of a reptile, the random branches of a nest, the tousled hair of a young child, a dried leaf, are some of my favorites. It’s fun to compare and contrast man-made textures. A few I’ve attempted are: a crocheted scarf, the floral print in the folds of a woman’s dress, a glass vase. And when I add beautiful, natural light it changes the whole look and feel of each surface and pattern, overlaying complexity and changing form.
It’s such an amazing study, especially in watercolor, which is my medium of choice. I love using pure staining transparent hues. My method is to use a glazing process, in which I apply layer upon layer, changing color and letting it mix on the paper.
I use a very limited palette. I start with only three colors, and then sometimes broaden out my choices to six or 8, very seldom using more.
I have been painting and drawing faces and portraits since I was very young. From the very first it was exciting, even surprising, to see a likeness appearing on the paper before me. Now, many paintings later, casual, sun dappled images of people, are a big part of my work.
Sometimes it’s fun to bring just a bit of fantasy to a painting. Not full fledged fantasy art, but something that changes a regular portrait into an interaction with the magic of life. I’ve painted a fairy/muse in the hand of my writer friend, Doug (“Handling the Muse”). One of my models, Alara, a mischievous little friend of mine, holds a tiny dragon in “Tiny Dragon”. My granddaughter, Elle, sits in a forested area with her black cat, her gaze pensive, in “Mystic Companions”.
I have a friend, Kristine, who models for me. She has dressed up in costumes, be-jeweled, a wreath on her head. We wander through her orchards and gardens, searching for the perfect moment, just the right lighting and pose.
Still life is fun and exciting too. When I have no friend or model, I can group special, interesting and meaningful combinations of items together and watch the light, photographing and moving objects till I find something I want to paint.
Teaching and Demoing:
Through numerous watercolor demonstrations, classes and workshops, I have been able to share my work and experience with others: artist’s groups, schools, county and state fairs, community organizations.. and, it is always a delight for me, and, I hope, for those I teach as well.
I have been very fortunate to have studied with Sacramento artist, Gary Pruner, whose marvelous teaching grounded me in my craft, and whose passion for art inspired me. It is largely due to Gary’s encouragement that I am a full time painter and teacher. I am thankful for his generosity and support.
My desire is to bring to my work, the imagination and curiosity which is so often found in children… And to combine that sense of wonder with an experienced artist’s hand.