"When we learn to observe and use our unique artistic language to make art, we then have the' special sauce' that makes impactful art to which others can connect and relate." - Jennifer Mohr, on identifying the most critical skill an artist should have.
If you have ever wondered what Heaven would look like, then Jennifer Mohr's beautiful paintings might give you a clue. Encapsulating the stunning views of the Prairie landscape in her work, Jennifer has managed to master the art of turning dreamy landscapes into reality!
"I've always been interested in the landscape, specifically those where I feel most at home. I was grown from the Prairie, and everything in my art practice leads back to those roots. When I paint the Prairie landscape, my focus is on the Plains and the plants that grow there. I want my viewers to feel like they are experiencing the Prairie grasses for themselves when they look at my paintings."
When you start viewing her artwork, remember to bring a map because it's easy to get lost in her incredible brushwork and captivating colors! Even if you've never been to the countryside of flat grasslands, Jennifer's use of acrylic colors will give you a quiet sense of being home. Indeed, the vibrant and dynamic movement of the plants and foliage in her painting brings the Prairie lands to life.
Like many of us, Jennifer found art as a way to create a sanctuary where she could express her innermost thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Her childhood memories lie between grassy plains and wheat-covered roads, so that is what she preserves in her paintings.
"I have been learning to paint since I was around ten years old. At that time, I took Saturday morning oil painting lessons and would practice by painting scenes torn out of old wall calendars. Later, I enrolled in the fine art program at the University of Saskatchewan and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002."
Her mediums and tools are close to her heart, as they hold a lot of nostalgia - even her palette knife bears a funny story too!
As shared on her Instagram profile, "My Saturday-morning painting teacher gave me that palette knife sometime in the late '80s/early '90s when I was learning to oil paint. We used landscape and wildlife photos torn from old wall calendars as our reference for those lessons. Turpentine was our only solvent/medium, and my teacher was a chain smoker, so I was pretty green in the gills by the time lessons let out!"
Her first love was oil, but when she discovered the properties of acrylic, Jennifer was charmed! Since then, she has stuck to creating magic with her brush using acrylic paint.
"Although I first began to learn to paint using oils, once I hit university, I switched to acrylic so that I could paint more easily in my shared dorm room. I've been using acrylic paints ever since and have learned to love their quick-drying nature."
In art, there are different strokes for different kinds of folks. Acrylic is a wonderful painting medium, and Jennifer uses it as if she was born with a brush in her hand.
"I use many types of media in my sketchbooks and studies, but for the most part, my paintings for public consumption are made with acrylic. I have often considered dabbling in oil paints (they do have a luscious, romantic appeal to them) but always come back to acrylics for a few reasons.
The quick-drying nature of acrylic means that I am able to quickly layer as I paint without the pigments unintentionally mixing on the canvas and becoming muddy. I needn't follow any 'rules' such as "fat over lean" or "dark to light" because acrylics can be layered endlessly in whatever order I choose. I also appreciate the low odor of acrylic paints and mediums since my home studio doesn't have a door!"
As her artwork inspires our eyes, Jennifer keeps her canvas full by doing some observation and introspection:
"I find inspiration in so many ways. Spending time in the landscape, taking photographs, looking at and learning about other artists' work, and perhaps most importantly, looking at and learning from my own work. When I am able to look at my own art and observe all that excites and fascinates me about it, then I can take those energizing feelings and be propelled to make even more."
When asked about who inspires her art the most, Jennifer can't pick one - there are just so many talented art figures!
"I don't think I could choose just one person who may have had the most significant influence on my art. I have learned so much by observing the artwork and processes of many, many artists."
We'd like to include Jennifer in that list of influential artists - so beginners, take note of her advice for starting on acrylic painting:
"My advice to beginners is to get yourself high-quality acrylic paints in a limited palette. A warm and cool of each primary color, plus a big tube of white and a small tube of black, is all the paint you will need to begin learning. High-quality paints have a high pigment load, so learning to mix color will be much easier if you begin with good-quality paints. Save your cheap paints for warm-ups, studies, sketchbooks, and compositional or mark-making exercises.
Get yourself some gel medium, so you can experiment with opacity and texture. Paint on paper - lots and lots of cheap watercolor paper, and make as many paintings as you can. Prime it with gesso first! Then lay out all your paintings, good ones, and bad ones, and look for clues about who you are as a painter. You will learn a lot!"
According to Jennifer, being an artist entails self-reflection. The key to getting your best work out there is to know yourself best first. That's why she recommends honing knowledge about your own art and being your art's greatest admirer and analyst.
"I'm going to go back to what I touched on earlier about learning from my own work. Looking to our own art for inspiration is a practice that encourages authenticity. It helps us learn to set aside our inner criticisms and work in a way that is vulnerable but also joyful!"
Indeed, Jennifer Mohr is a paragon for all acrylic enthusiasts out there. With her art that represents the soul of her motherland, she gives us masterpieces that make our houses feel more like home. We can't wait to continue seeing more of her art there, and here's to more of her perfect Prairie paintings!
Get Inspired by Jennifer’s Majestic Art!
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