Jenny Hay – Artist Spotlight

jenny_hay_1

Background/previous experience:

I am a Fort Collins native, born and raised here. I have four beautiful sisters and plenty of other family members in Fort Collins so I guess I could say that I am engrained in the culture of Northern Colorado. Previous experience? I didn’t have much in the way of formal art training in school but I had roommates that were pursuing art degrees at CSU and I found them to be great teachers.

How did you get started?

I bought my first canvas and paint when I was about eighteen. Some of my friends painted and I decided I wanted to try it. My husband was using oils on canvas and it took him about a month to finish a painting. I didn’t have that kind of patience and by using acrylics I found that I could finish a painting in just a few hours. Since then I have developed my painting style by trial and error. Initially I forgot to rinse my brushes and the next time I reached for them they were crusted and stiff. Without much choice I started painting and I found that there was something wonderful about the resulting color blends and thick texture that occurred. It was and still is the most detailed way I can express myself.

I loved so much the release and excitement of painting that it just became part of what I did in my free time. At first my husband and I would put on a record, pour some wine, and start painting. It was a blast! Over the years this evolved into a therapeutic ritual of relaxation, something we could do together after a long, hectic day and the kids were finally in bed.  Friends and family were very complimentary about what I was doing and I started taking it more seriously. I am at the point now where my art work has started selling and am in the process of starting a website and an Etsy store.

Who are your inspirations?

I am inspired by friends around me that create and sell all types of beautiful handmade arts and crafts. My four lovely children are also a deep inspiration in my life. My pieces could be explained as more of an expression of emotion or feeling rather than a specific static object and through this medium I am able to express the good and not so good that come with being a parent. I think that my work reflects all of the stages of my life since I first began painting.

Pick one of your favorite pieces:

Currently my favorite piece is called Sunshine Mesa.

jenny_hay_sunshine_mesa

How did you come up the idea for this piece?

I feel that this piece was a reflection of the feelings I get when we go up into the mountains for a hike or camping trip. I saw an amazing photo series recently of winter landscapes taken in the mountains and forest above Telluride. My husband grew up around there and he told me his favorite place to camp when he was little was called Sunshine Mesa. The painting just appeared in my head after that.

How did you make it?

I turn on music that suits the mood and kind of go crazy! I start painting usually wherever I am at the time, often the kitchen table, and then migrate around the room to find the right light and angles. I guess you could say I fall into my work, I tend to be pretty destructive to the area around me(paint on the floor, a trail of paint tubes, dirty brushes in various states of drying), so I usually have quite a mess to clean after I’m finished, but it’s totally worth the finished product!

What do you see as the strengths of your piece, visually or conceptually?

I think the biggest strength of the piece are the bright rich colors and textures in the back ground, the muted aspen trunks are almost an afterthought for me.

Why choose to display at The Colorado Room?

As I said earlier I am inspired by the artisans around me that create the things that they are passionate about and I include The Colorado Room! Everything in the restaurant is unique and original. The Colorado Room isn’t afraid to be different and express themselves through their food and service and I feel that my pieces fit in well with the culture of the business. It was a huge deal for me to share my work with the public and the Colorado Room has been a perfect partner.

Interested in seeing more of Jenny’s work? Stop by The Colorado Room for the full spectrum of creativity or email info@thecoloradoroom.com.