Interview: Jenni Souter
Luca Curci talks with Jenni Souter during OUT OF BALANCE, second appointment of CANVAS Art Fair 2020, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space in London.
Jenni Souter is a native of Sandusky, Ohio and learned to paint at the young age of 5. After studying Art, Art Education, and Environmental Art Education, she graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelors of Fine Art majoring in painting with a minor in Art Education. She has continued to nurture and cultivate her passion for art through her role as an elementary art teacher. Through her instruction and guidance, young minds are introduced to the world of Art and Art history. Jenni has found motivation through her relationship with her students to continue producing her own art. Not only has she inspired the artistic experience of her students by instilling in them a positive self image, but they have served as inspiration for her to create unique and imaginative paintings. She has been published and exhibited in Chicago, Hollywood, Detroit, Ohio, New York City, Alberta (Canada), Barcelona (Spain) and London (England). She has private works in China and Africa. She will have art in the Louvre in October 2021.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Jenni Souter – Art for me is painting. It is being able to relax, have art therapy, and share my world by showing you my art.
LC – What are you currently working on?
JS – I am currently working on a colorful series that I call the ”new rainbow series”. I was placed on this earth first as a mother; I feel blessed to have been able to have, grow and have fun safely with my children. It was only recently that I discovered that my 3 favorite artists (Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe) were unable to achieve the joy of living as children. My main focus right now is to share the joy of being a mother with the viewer.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And the contemporary art?
JS – I think the artist reflects society.
LC – What is your creative process like?
JS – I paint the chapters of my life. I am very connected to the living world as an empath and lightworker. I love my life, nature and I’m very spiritual, believing everything happens for a reason. My creations identify the painter as someone that sees their organic life as beautiful, natural, symbolic, and at times tumultuous. Similarly, I am knowledgeable and have a deep appreciation for the painting Masters and their techniques to which I pay homage. I want the viewer of my art to be captivated by my use of beautiful bold colors. I have been able to accomplish this dramatic color effect through the use of a new line of paints called ”Pebeo”. ”Pebeo” can be transparent like stained glass as in “Ode to Monet,” a landscape of where I live. In addition to my attention to vivid color, I am very concerned with the viewers’ internal experience of my paintings. I am trying to provoke an internal analysis of my work by prompting the viewer to ponder such questions as: What do I see? What prompted the artist to paint this picture? What is the meaning or message behind this painting? What is the symbolism that is represented in this artwork?
As in the “Ode to Van Gogh and Ophelia” painting, the viewer would answer, “I see water ,” but then wonder “Who is Ophelia?”. After researching that Ophelia is the woman who died in the water, they look at the art again to see that it is from the angle under the water looking up through the water. The viewer continues to analyze and wonder why the art was made like this, as if to say that the artist felt like she was drowning in life at times. This was after a suicide of a loved one. Finally, the viewer interprets my symbols as in the surreal “Ode to Frida Georgia Marilyn Madonna and Jackson”. As one looks, they see it is more than a blood red full moon, bleeding iris, bleeding hearts and fog hiding the and pinheads. It’s more than a flower as the main shape takes on Madonna or Marilyn dancing among men beautifully with hearts on stage and in the spotlight. I want the viewer to spot the clues and have an aesthetic experience as they discover it symbolizes a pained artist telling of a past broken relationship hidden under the guise of a larger than life beauty. It is in the portrayal of significant events and experiences for my personal life, through my paintings, that I attempt to offer hope and comfort to those who are suffering in silence.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
JS – Yes, I changed to ”Pebeo” paint. I went from lots of symbols to show you more motherly views like Mary Cassatt.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival?
JS – Amazing idea.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
JS – Yes.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
JS – Yes.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
JS – I suggest to share more pictures and videos with artists during this Covid-19 time.