Jeff Green | Sep 17, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - September 17, 2009Jen White: A rider and painter of horsesby Julie Druker
Photo: Artist Jen White with a work she created during the Inroads Studio Tour
For self-taught painter Jen White, choosing subjects to paint has never been a dilemma. The Maberly artist, who recently participated in the Inroads Studio Tour at the Oso hall in Sharbot Lake, has only to walk out to the barn located at her parents’ Meadow Ridge farm near Maberly for inspiration.
White graduated from the Equine Agriculture course at Kemptville College in 2005 and currently works at her parents’ farm where she teaches riding. She has been around horses most of her life.
Similarly, White has been drawing since she can remember. Asked when she started, she responded, “I never really stopped. Since I was very young I was constantly drawing and would take a sketchbook with me everywhere.”
The combination of these two passions resulted in her paintings which consist of horses in a number of different poses and locations, some painted in oils and others in watercolour, each with very different results. Her oil works tend to be more stylized with visible brush strokes and patches of colour depicting the animal(s) in more epic postures; her watercolours are clean and precise with a draughtsman’s feel depicting the animals in more natural poses and settings.
The two different mediums require different approaches. The watercolour works must be thought out in advance while the oils tend to evolve as Jen paints them.
For both approaches she works from photographs. Jen explained, “Whenever I see a scene that is striking or where the light is really nice, I’ll take a couple of pictures and go from there. I tend to use photos where the composition works.”
Growing up and working with horses for most of her life has resulted in a certain comfort and confidence in her abilities as a draughtsman. Jen explained, “If you’ve done one subject long enough you can really play with it. I’m just so comfortable drawing horses at this point that I can do that. I don’t have to focus so much on where things go because it comes so naturally. I can explore colour and movement and leave a lot up to the imagination.” She added, “A lot of confidence comes with that.”
Jen studied art in high school and that is all the formal art training she has received.
Her career as an artist took a more serious turn two years ago when she decided to join the local artisans’ guild, LOLAG, and more recently the Inroads Studio Tour. Though she paints other subjects, she is now trying to market herself primarily as an equine artist.
So far, with just two formal shows to her credit, Jen’s work has already found an audience of interested buyers. She has already sold seven original works.
She is pleased with the response she is getting. “I’ve had a lot of people interested. Everyone seems to find a painting that they love and they always choose a different one”