Jhenna Lewis

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Jhenna Lewis

United States

My art is a metaphor for stillness and reflection. It is part of an inner dialogue with emotions that resound within. I exist alongside the work. There is no separation.

Dusky atmospheric backgrounds and the quiet definition of negative space enhance a contemplative quality in my work. This “space between” becomes imperative. What is left out is just as valuable as the main subject. It helps create a sense of silence and define what there is to focus upon. Negative space as I use it allows the viewer to notice what I wish to express and emphasize.

Many of my subjects are birds. Each species has their own personalities and lore. Whatever they mean to me will be interpreted by a viewer’s own experiences. Yet there is a universal attraction that draws us in to wonder about these beautiful creatures.

"The language of birds is very ancient, and, like other ancient modes of speech, very elliptical: little is said, but much is meant and understood…" Gilbert White (1720-1793)

When I start a piece, it begins as inspiration, then is brought forth by planning and compositional studies. I feel like a traveler beginning a journey. As I work on the emergent piece, I may incorporate many changes along the way. The final painting may be quite different from my original idea.

For the artist and the viewer alike, contemplation, reflection, and meditation are essential to art. The arts open channels of insight to our emotions. Our reception of the work may be at levels we do not recognize or even note. Albert Einstein may have stated this best in his quote concerning science:

“If science, like art, is to perform its mission truly and fully, its achievements must enter not only superficially but with inner meaning into the consciousness of the people.”

My art invites the viewer to slow down. To be patient and look. To appreciate our connection to the natural world. And sense what resounds within themselves.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.