Architerior had a talk with American painter Jennifer Gauthier whose imagination runs free when creating her abstact artworks.
Jennifer, where do you live and practice your art?
I am currently living and practicing out of my studio apartment in Bellingham, WA, USA.
How did your art career start?
For the longest time I didn’t realize that it was a possibility to go against the grain and create my very own career in art. A few years ago I watched a DO Lecture by Elle Luna where she talked about the importance of doing what you love. Something clicked for me after watching her speech and I began to paint everyday in #the100dayproject. My life, practice, and career continues to evolve in a flow that I am happy to be present in. It’s truly special to remain mindful of what led me to this place.
“132”, Acrylic and pastel on paper
When did you know that you were meant to be working with art?
I originally went to college for interior design. I took a watercolor class to render my hand drawn design and floor plans and completely got lost in the paint. The feeling of working with paint was transcendent and I continued to explore art and what it meant to me.
Describe your art style: materials, forms, colours. Do you have preferences?
I would describe my work as abstract expressionism and ever-evolving. I work most often with acrylic paint, ink and pastel. The most delicious part of a painting is knowing its history so I build every frame and hand stretch every canvas piece. I enjoy the process of seeing a painting from start to finish.
What’s the hardest part of being an artist?
I think the hardest thing about being an artist is learning about the ebb and flow of inspiration. At times, my experience with art making feels effortless. Art will run through me and onto the canvas. Everything feels right in the world. The very next day, and for many days to follow that, the energy for the work somehow gets lost. These are the times that I have learned the most respect for myself in this process. I work through the awkward marks, I recharge, I learn over and over again to love the mystery and the challenges of art-making.
Jennifer Gauthier in her studio. Photo © Alyssa Wilcox Photography 2016
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is waking up each morning excited and curious about what will be made.
What inspires you to create? Where do you get ideas and energy?
Inspiration is everywhere. I source color and shapes from the way paint chips off a building, the movement of water or even the shapes of objects once I close my eyes. However, the greatest inspiration and teacher is Mother Earth. Every color I mix is a direct reflection of colors I have sourced through her.
Work in progress
Do you have any artists or art styles that you admire extra much?
I admire the work of Andrew Wyeth beyond words. His paintings have a stillness and quiet solitude that you can actually feel. I’ve had the chance to see his work in person one time and it is as if his paintings come alive right before you.
If you could exhibit your art anywhere or with anyone, where or who would it be?
I would love to show with many of the female abstract artists that I have met on Instagram. It would be a wonderful experience to meet the online community of artists that has formed in person, without a screen between us.
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