Artist Statement


My day time superpowers are to create ways of doing new things for the first time and to organize people, processes and information to create more peace. (My useless superpower is being able to sing the lyrics of songs from the 70s and 80s with little prompting.) My night time and weekend superpower is creating art.

As an artist, I create to make peace between things that are opposing. I also create to surface and express emotions without words by turning things over with my mind’s hands without looking at it with my mind’s eye.

Media / Process

I loved drawing and painting in grade school. I hid my drawings between hay bales in a tin shed that doubled as my entomology lab where I watched caterpillars turn into chrysalis and emerge butterflies.

Later, I also loved photography and much later, desiring to hone my craft, I earned an MFA in Digital Media. I continue to learn other disciplines because the challenge brings me energy and fun. For example, I have also worked in sculpture, jewelry, painting, drawing collage, assemblage, installation, fabric and books.

Content

There are a few broad subjects that I return to over 20 years across different media and with different themes:

  • Faces. Which is funny because I am an introvert.
  • Closeups. I lost much of my eyesight by the time I was 8 years old. My closeup photos reflect how I see without my contacts.
  • Flowers: I love flowers, trails, botanicals, but really, mostly flowers.
  • And there’s everything else.

You can see my current portfolios here.

Influences

My influences cross disciplines and time.

  • Photography – Teachers Dan Burkholder, Brian Taylor, and Joel Slayton. Famous artists Josef Sudek, Frederick Evans, Karl Blossfeld
  • Drawing – Lynda Barry, Mike Rhode, Ed Emberely, Eva Lotta Lam, Kris Hargis, and teachers Lisa Congdon and Kate Bingaman-Burt
  • Portraits – Alice Neel, Lucien Freud, Roualt and teacher Jane Davenport

Value Add

How am I different? I am not so sure I am. I can tell you though that:

  • I am delighted by the world and attempt to convey some of that.
  • I am intrigued and delighted by the discovery and expression of what makes each person unique.
  • I cross the lines between disciplines in the spirit of exploring what works and what’s fun.

You can find out what I’m currently experimenting with by following me on Instagram @JHartnettHender