Illuminating people, environments, experiences, life changes, I gain inspiration, gratitude and acceptance when painting the real, the tangible. My paintings are realistic images, reality, a commentary on lives, my life. These snapshots can be a series of memories either joyful or difficult, a portrait of family or friends, or a new landscape. The quote by, Jonathan Safran Foer, speaks to my status when painting, "It was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn't think of my life at all". There is no past and no future, just painting, in the present.
To really know something is to draw or paint an object, a landscape or a person. To familiarize myself with my surroundings, I need to wander in, photograph and paint the environment. As a recent transplant from Minnesota, upon arrival to the western slope of Colorado I was struck by the unusual formations in the landscape, specifically the adobe landscape. This new environment was so different from my Minnesota roots, from a lush green to dry high desert. I realized to know this new place and to acclimate myself I needed to paint this new place. By presenting objects, landscapes and vignettes, my desire for viewers is to see their surroundings, that object, or portrait with fresh eyes. To stop and observe this environment with curiosity and regard.
I paint on a variety of surfaces, use various mediums and different presentation formats. This is the perfect interplay with the changing subject matter in my work. My recent painting mediums are mixed media and oils. The combination of watercolor, acrylic, oil pastel and varnish in my mixed media works are in contrast to the straight forward lines, shapes and colors of my oil paintings.
'Chronicling an ever-changing life through art', is the tagline on my blog, jeannestortz.blogspot.com. My paintings, this last year have focused on the adobe landscape, bones, found objects and western culture. I am chronicling this ever-changing life through painting my new surroundings and experiences. There is always new material to shine light on.