“Art in Bloom” gets up front and personal: a discussion with the artist, Jackie Battenfield

The Flinn Gallery hosted its “Flinn Gallery Artists Talk” with three of the five artists featured in their currently running “Art in Bloom” exhibition. The artists talked frankly about their inspiration and techniques and entertained questions during their presentations and well after.  The audience of about 60 seemed to thoroughly enjoy the informal, lively and very informative discussion.

This post will feature Jackie Battenfield.

Jackie Battenfield
Jackie Battenfield

Jackie was the first to talk about her art.  She was born in Pennsylvania in 1950 and obtained an MFA from Syracuse in 1978.  She currently lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  For the last twenty years, Jackie has made a living from her arts and is a popular motivational speaker on the challenges of sustaining a successful career in the visual arts.  Her work is represented in galleries in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver, NYC and nearby in Larchmont.  She was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Award in 1991 and the Warren Tanner Award in 1996.  Her work is included in more than 1000 collections worldwide, including the NYC Public Library, Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, Montclair Art Museum in NJ, Palmer Museum at Penn State, Museum of Art at the University of Arizona, and the U.S. Embassy Collections in five countries.

Jackie’s paintings in the exhibit are based on sweeping branches bestowed with leaves fancifully colored in brilliant blues, purples, reds, greens as well as softer pastels.  She began by explaining that, for her, the hardest part in starting a new painting is finding the right color combination.  “I sometimes work for months before I get something I am happy with.”  She will start with a base color and then add new colors to find the right hues.  She tries not to work with colors in nature but to experiment with new ones that she creates for each painting.  “I work with acrylic but very thinned down.  I will put several pigments together and disperse them in water.  As the water evaporates, the painting comes alive.”

As Jackie further explained, the pigment will settle on the picture and include a variety of shades from dark to light and at the same time a variety of color combinations.  “The color is organic.  It moves and pools organically as the process allows….  I feel like an alchemist.  I never know what it’s going to look like dry when I start…. I feel so lucky to do what I do!”  Jackie ended by enthusing about her newest project—creating art for the Avenue P stop on the MTA “F” train line to Coney Island.  I think everyone was looking forward to a trip to Avenue P to see it!

For  more information about Jackie, please check out her Website:  http://www.jackiebattenfield.com

For more information about the Flinn Gallery and their exhibits, please visit their Website: http://flinngallery.com

 

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