Jennifer Bain is a painter interested in spirituality, nature, and the relationships between these themes and contemporary art. The artist was introduced to the concept of art as a spiritual practice by attending The Rudolph Steiner School in New York City. The school embraces education through the arts, strongly emphasizing mystic ideology.
Wanting a practical yet creative profession she earned an A.A. degree in Fashion Design and worked successfully in that field, but yearned for more creative expression. Returning to school she earned a B.F.A. from The California College of the Arts in 1982 and a M.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985.
The artist spent ten years living "underground" in an old paint factory which introduced her to a vivid life full of artists, musicians, dancers, playwrights, and street performers. She participated in many group shows in nonprofit spaces during this time.
Jennifer has been a full-time artist since 1994. She has dedicated her practice to painting in series, employing different styles of painting based on the content of the work, which has spanned from the abstract to the narrative.
The artist has been represented in prestigious contemporary galleries throughout the U.S., Asia, and the Middle East. Her work is in private and corporate collections and places of healing such as The Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, UCLA, San Francisco General, and Stanford University Hospitals. She was honored to represent The U.S. in the Art in Embassies program twice in 2005 and 2009.
After living in Oakland California for thirty-seven years she relocated to Santa Fe New Mexico in 2016 after her husband died of cancer. She is presently engaged to a native New Mexican, and flourishing in a new life with two small dogs and a huge cat.
I create abstract compositional grounds with gestural, chromatically layered surfaces and geometric forms, against which I juxtapose realistic renderings of birds. I combine abstraction with bird imagery to symbolically represent ideas such as freedom versus structure while alluding to concepts like adaptability and transition.
New Mexico's landscape influences my painterly space. I attempt to translate the constantly shifting geology of the high desert earth and the moving veils of cloud formations by layering paint and sanding it back to reveal marks and colors laid down previously. Buried forms and scruffy lines compete for dominance on the surface, while washes of color evoke shifting light and shadows. Sanding creates a window into the layers below, the way wind and water erode the land.
The carefully rendered birds dominate this landscape, exemplifying that nature still prevails. Sitting in perched postures, away from flight, they display expressions of thought, gazing at us silently, asking us to interpret.