I’m continuing today with the second part of my interview with artist Jenni Adkins Horne. Jenni lives in Newnan, Georgia, with her family, where she creates beautiful, colorful paintings.
Has your art always been similar to your current style?
I think artists are constantly evolving their style and subjects. When I first started painting, my compositions were very simple, sweet and innocent. There were lots of birds, flowers, and nests. I tended to paint with soft, subtle colors. Now I see the whimsical and playful feelings evoked in those paintings were a part of my insecurities of what I was doing. I was wearing my heart on the canvas for all to see. It was a very vulnerable time. I’ve always thought of myself as confident and courageous, but this was uncharted territory. I could teach kids how to be artists…but I was not an “artist”.
Slowly I’ve discovered my own style, favorite subjects, and favorite colors for a signature look. Although I do flip around with technique, the feelings in my paintings remain the same. There is such a spark of passion as I express myself through the brush and paint. I feel so alive when I work. I can tell from my head to my toes when my creative life is at a lul; it’s such a part of my being now that it has to be nurtured and developed continually. It’s like this magical relationship. The process of evolving and becoming an artist has been an amazing journey. I would not change a thing!
If you were making art solely for yourself, not for sale, what would you make?
Hmmm…well, I think my art is such an extension of me that I would paint just as I do now. As evidenced by the work I cannot let go of that is currently hanging all over my house, I think I like what I’m doing.
Do you still take classes to learn new art techniques?
I wish I could take more classes to learn techniques. I have attended two Art and Soul retreats, one in Portland and one in Las Vegas. The Vegas classes provided loads of inspiration for my own work and my children’s classes.
Are you still teaching art classes?
I am still teaching at my children’s elementary school. I come in every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Parents have to sign up their child for the 4-week sessions and pay a fee. It is the best way to teach children because they ALL want to be there and as a general rule all have some sort of natural talent. Sharing my joy of art with children is an amazing experience. In fact, I can’t really talk about it without getting a little emotional. Teaching helps to keep my walk in this artful journey grounded. I have been so blessed with the gift of relating to children and the ability to teach.
I have a teacher’s heart, always will. I know my work is getting stronger by the day because those little whatareyoudoing monsters are no longer hanging around the studio. The confidence I gain through teaching allows for new opportunities to express myself as well. I plan to take this year and continue all my show obligations up until the summer of 2011. Then during the fall of 2011 through the summer of 2012, I will focus on teaching outside of my community. I am working on developing a workshop series that will be presented to several of the larger adult workshops around the United States, such as Art and Soul. I am tickled about my ideas for the classes and hope that by then my blog and Etsy shop following will be recognizable enough that creative spirits who attend the retreats will be excited to experience a workshop with me!
Where do you make your art? Do you have a dedicated space in your home, or different spaces depending on the art that you are making?
I have a sunroom studio right off my kitchen. It is the most inspiring little space. All the natural light is perfect for someone who enjoys being outside more than inside. Of course as projects get going I tend to take over other areas of our home, like the kitchen table, our bed, the sofa, the driveway. Yeah…..our driveway always has a table set up for those extra messy days.
I hope you're enjoying my interview with Jenni Horne. I'll be posting the last part in a couple of days.