Meet Jeni Bate

March 9, 2011

Those of you who’ve been following our blog know how curious we all are about how artists develop their individual styles. So far, we’ve talked to Roxie Munro, Patricia Abramowitz and Bill Engel about this subject. Now it’s Jeni’s turn.

It’s clear that each artist has an individual story. Roxie found inspiration in buildings in university art classes, Bill wasn’t able to express himself until he learned about pouring paint from a very creative high school teacher who recognized his potential.

You could say that Jeni was born with a paint brush in her hand. As a child in Walees, Jeni’s mother taught first grade and included art classes in her daily routine. When the children had finished their daily work, Jeni’s mother encouraged them to paint.

Clearly, her mother valued art and understood how the creative arts encourage creative thinking in general. As proof, Jeni had her own easel and paint set at a very young age. She recently found a photo of herself at the age of three, standing at her easel. And so life went on – art classes, regular studies, friends. The usual life of a child – until her school’s art teacher destroyed her confidence. Jeni put her paints and her easel away and didn’t look back.

Instead she took up photography and was happy doing that. She continued to study, eventually moving to Californiabecause of her IT career, and taking photography classes there. Until the day she photographed an evening sky … and said “I must paint that”. Jeni claims she looked around and wondered where the words came from.

So off she went to art classes. She took classes in all media: oil, water, pastel, acrylic. She was very lucky. Her teachers worked on how to use the medium, not style of painting. They saw their charter as technical proficiency, just what Jeni was looking for.

After all, she knew what she wanted to paint, and she knew how they should look. Morning skies, evening skies, skies before storms, skies after storms. If you’ve seen her work, you know how beautifully she succeeds.

What you don’t know – and this is where passion wins – is that, in the photo of herself at three at her easel, Jeni was painting a sky. What more can you say about someone who gives her soul to her skies?


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