Sweet and Surreal
Check out this multifaceted painter and find out where she gets her inspiration for her unmistakably fanciful creatures.
Like Sharra Frank (Mosaic Artist) who I previously profiled, Jennifer Davis also found her passion for art by stumbling upon a class in college at the University of Minnesota. Having all of her general requirements completed, Jennifer took a drawing class which was where she fell in love with art school. After attending more art related classes: photography, ceramics, sculpture and print making she found her true passion in painting.
With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree Jennifer took a job at an add agency where she worked for a few years until she was suddenly laid off. Like all happy endings, this unexpected turn is when she started making art full time.
Her art has been evolving ever since, starting with a lot of small collage based works. Then, she started drawing and painting on them and as Jennifer describes “the collage elements gradually disappeared”. She also admits she still has the same narrative and silly sensibilities but her works are drastically different from when she started.
” I hope my work will always grow and change over time.”
Not only does she give joy through her paintings she also gives back to her community.
Since selling her art is her sole source of income and realizing that it is difficult to donate to her favorite causes monetarily, Jennifer figures, “donating my work is a good way for me to give something back to my community and the causes I care about.”
Q. When I look at your artwork I feel like they are images from my dreams AND my nightmares. How do you come up with these creatures-images?
I’m not exactly sure! When I start a new work I layer on some colors and use sand paper, scribbling, and razor blades to mess up the surface. I usually see some faces or characters emerging within the mess and just develop the composition around whatever bubbles up. I don’t plan them out- I just doodle around. As long as I keep working everyday I don’t run out of inspiration.
Q. Your use of bright and bold colors mixed with intricate patterns is so unique and refreshing, where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by animals/nature and a lot of found images I collected over the years when I was making collages. I love vintage magazines and photos. One of my favorite parts about painting is playing around with different color combinations and I love the obsessive and repetitive motion of designing intricate patterns.
Q. What advice do you have for artists just starting out?
Make A LOT of art. Take the initiative to pursue the people, galleries and projects that interest you rather than waiting for things to fall into your lap. The world is very tiny now and more than ever the “Art World” is in the hands of the individual artists.
Q. What is your favorite place in the Twin Cities?
Oh that is a tough question! I want to say the bike trails but that isn’t exactly a place. I’ll go with Rosalux Gallery! I used to be a member there and still love it so. They are in the process of moving to a gorgeous new location and reopening with a show by one of my favorites, Nick Howard, on Fri Oct 7th.
Q. Who is your favorite local artist?
I have a gazillion favorites…don’t get me started.
Jennifer just finished a 4-day only Pop-Up Gallery with her good friend and fellow artist Amy Rice. She currently has some small works on display at Nahcotta in Portsmouth, NH. Next up she will have work at Subtext Gallery in San Diego and Pink Hobo in Minneapolis. She also made an illustration for a book that will be released in Oct.