JENNIE SCHUT: Snapshots of the Ephemeral

Jennie Schut is an award winning visual artist, mentor, and author who is passionate about connecting others with their God-given capacity to create. She uses the mediums of oil paint, encaustic and mixed media collage to creative beautiful images that capture moments in time and express the unspoken through color and forms. 

In 7th grade, Jennie attended her first art class. The teacher championed her natural talent and encouraged her, but she didn't continue to develop her skills or identity as an artist once the class ended. Like many of us, growing up in a family that didn't place importance on the arts meant she didn't find her way back to it until her adulthood.  In her 30's a desire to return to something like the experience of her youth began to stir in Jennie. She signed up for a local drawing class. In the 9th week, they began to study the human face.  "Things began to take shape on the page and the faces actually looked like faces and not aliens." She recounts, "this discovery led me to return to school and earn an art degree. I had never painted prior to that." 

Our Arts Collective community was blessed by an exhibition of Jennie's work during our month of Visual Arts Forums in 2015 and was pleased to welcome her back later that year to teach an Encaustic Workshop. Jennie's work has been woven into the Sunday worship experience at Journey Church and touched many seekers through her Waking Up Grey study. 

In her Artist Statement (below) she explains what draws her to this work and keeps her actively searching for those ephemeral moments which will inspire her next piece.

“I believe that there is a sacred depth to the ordinary things we encounter in mundane daily life. One can perceive areas of energy lurking, waiting around corners and under shadows. These things are not obvious. In order to see them, one has to go looking. If found and seen, these moments have the power to catch at our breath and take it away. I wish to capture these sorts of experiences in my paintings. In order to do this, I have been investigating my world more often and have enjoyed using photography as part of my process. My emphasis is figure and the human form. I want to offer the viewer a different perspective; an unusual perspective as it pertains to the ordinary. I want my art to aid the viewer in being able to see the beautiful in those commonplace moments, from a different angle or in a different light, so as to bring dynamism to my work and its perspective.

I want to create snapshots in time of ephemeral, astonishing moments that become a centrifugal force in such a way that there is a narrative or history leading up to this point of emphasis and away from it, causing this moment in time to be the climax of something beautiful. If my work can suggest this in a subtle way, then I have succeeded.

As a painter, I perceive that there are many relationships active in a good piece of work, such as light and dark, smooth and rough, colorful and dull, space and illusion of space, abstract and concrete. These relationships exist to portray contrasts and diversity, without which, artwork would be boring and flat. This could be said of life as well. And it is in these relationships perhaps, that we find those transitory, beautiful spaces in which the dichotomy of contentious opposites are found flourishing peacefully, inhabiting a minute corner of the world for a transient instant.”

Find out more about Jennie and her work @ FLY FORWARD.

Karina SprinkleComment