In most creative realms, trends are often what drives sales and, particularly in recent years, a majority of the large-scale, commercially-driven art, music, film and literature we consume is created from proven “formulas” and popular themes.
I am always grateful to discover artists who explore subjects, themes and styles that are outside of the mainstream “pick of the week” as well as those who incorporate some of these well-known styles and themes into a fresh and exciting interpretation.
Painter George Jennings does both. Embracing diversity, Jennings creates captivating paintings that cross cultural barriers as well as artistic styles. “I’m striving to create a diverse body of work,” says the artist, “so I use subjects from various ethnicities and a variety of sources. This is very important to me because that’s the way that I want to see my world and, in my opinion, diversity has been underrepresented not only in the art realm but in our society as a whole. So for me, it’s about creating an all-encompassing, diverse series of paintings that includes all ethnic groups, all styles and several influences. I work with whatever I feel fits the painting. Viewers will find recognizable elements in each picture but I believe that every painting stands on its own and hopefully the only ‘trend’ in my work is the level of quality.”
Here is a selection of Jennings’ work from his portfolio, along with the artist’s notes on each one:
“I was really inspired by the Northwest Native American art and wanted to make a statement of the combination of modern Seattle life combined with the tradition of the Native American heritage.”
“’Koi’ is my continuation of creating paintings with a relaxing atmosphere. My initial thoughts were to have several koi fish surrounding her but I thought that by having one prominent fish would create a more intimate piece. The koi is investigating why this woman is laying her head back in the koi pond.”
“This piece was inspired by an Edward S. Curtis 19th-century photograph of a Hopi girl and I loved it so much that I just had to paint it.”
“‘Jackie’ is an Art Deco inspired piece in which I tried to capture the strength of the pose. My friend Jackie posed for this picture, then I added elements from my Art Deco influence, hoping that people would accept blue hair.”
“I wanted to do a painting that expressed what I believed the woman to be thinking. Whatever it is, she seems to be at peace, something that I always strive to bring forth in my work. This is one of the four paintings that I’ve done of my wife and it is her personal favorite.”
George Jennings’ work is a sumptuous voyage, one that I can take several times and always find something new. Here’s to the beauty of of the wonderfully diverse world in which we live.
George Jennings, Seattle, Washington
Paintings: Oil on panel, acrylic on panel
All images are used with the permission of the artist and are subject to copyright laws.
George Jennings’ artwork may be viewed at: George Jennings Fine Art
Serena Kovalosky is the founder and CEO of Artful Vagabond Productions LLC, specializing in cultural projects and film production for the arts. Kovalosky is also a professional sculptural artist and curator.