“An Enriched Life: It has been said that collecting original works of art is a luxury, but considering that it provides nourishment for one’s soul, it is indeed a necessity.”
In my opinion, a home filled with Jeanne Illenye’s still life artwork would be blissful indeed. My favourite still life artist of today, I find her work simply resplendant in its reserved simplicity – the topic choices refined yet exquisitely lush and bursting with life. The birds, books and other tiny little details that allow these precious things to sing from each canvas convey beauty at a depth that is often missed in this crowded everyday society.
For her work I am thankful, and always enamoured and that is why she is one of the few artists that I have chosen to feature from the modern era.
Her biography on Perez Fine Art states –
‘Predominantly self taught, Jeanne received her initial training at an early age through private instruction and later at the Ridgewood School of Art in New Jersey and Pratt Institute in New York. Inspired by the Dutch Masters Jeanne utilizes a warm, earthy palette and elaborate, fluid compositions punctuated by strong contrasts. She incorporates signs of age into her work as a reminder of nature’s delicacy and transience.‘
And Illeyne’s Artist Statement there –
“It is the common things that are most often taken for granted — the fruit and flowers of our daily sustenance — nourishment for body and soul, respectively. These are delicate and fleeting gifts.
Through my work, I elicit a greater appreciation for their beauty by elevating them to the forefront of the observer’s attention. While my paintings isolate a particular moment in time, it is through the details — a browning, torn leaf, the curling of a dried petal, a broken stem, bruised fruit, dewdrops — that I evoke a sense of transience in Nature’s beauty. I take the observer through many phases of growth from bud to blossom, ripening fruit to withering vine — life and death and ultimately, rebirth of spirit, for within this beauty we find comfort and peace.”
As summarised so eloquently in ArtAndCritique –
‘There is one salient feature that distinguishes her artwork as a whole, and in effect makes up one of the essentials of her style: it is the uncommon, even quaint, touch of serenity and poise that permeates every piece and eventually overflows to gently sweep the viewer along. Every painting becomes a record of its subject, a kind of a miniature visual chronicle, to be more precise.’
And in the comments Illenye herself comments :
“Aside from the obvious inspiration from the Dutch masters, employing their basic compositional structure, the Hogarth curve—named for William Hogarth (1697-1764) who defined the reverse S as the “line of beauty”—in various proportions in my larger florals has been a natural, intuitive process.
Both the idea and structure of a painting almost come to fruition simultaneously as I briefly stare at the blank canvas, and then evolve rapidly as I begin a raw, unplanned underpainting. This process is the most exciting for me as it requires maximum creative force and foresight. Often I can make such significant progress toward fulfilling my vision in that first sitting, that I’m satiated for quite some time. The second stage contrasts significantly with the first as it requires a great deal more perseverance with the deliberate calculation and placement of every detail on an abstract level while at once remaining sympathetic to the knowledge of a flower’s actual appearance.
This is what I consider to be most challenging and often exhaustive stage, persisting over as much as eight weeks. Once the final stage is reached I begin to have fun again. This is where I add legs dangling from a hovering bee and add an ethereal quality to the wings of a butterfly, or permit light to softly sift through a petal or reflect through a dewdrop onto a surface…it’s what makes the painting begin to feel magical to me…and perhaps if I’m successful, hopefully for you, too!”
Fabulously eccentric actress, TV host, curvaceous model and founder of Hong Kong ’s first luxury corset brand, Pearls & Arsenic. I love sharing my passion for all things elegant, beautiful & inspiring. My Dearest Beloved and I live with a fluffy Angora rabbit named Lord Pemberly III, who is a ridiculous snob, and his dwarf-lop bunny brother, The Earl of Tillington. Find me on IG @RavenTao or FB : Raven Tao
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