Artist of the Month: Jeanne Perez

September’s artist is my mother, Jeanne Perez, because—as you can see most explicitly above—she is having a twenty-year retrospective show this month. The show (party, actually—all are welcome) will exhibit her talents as a fine artist, but she has not always enjoyed the luxury of painting-for-fun.

Jeanne has made a living as an artist through the most unconventional of ways. As a decorative painter, she pushed along painting murals and furniture decorations for the Nutmeg State’s classiest rich people and merchants. For example, one woman, a regular Connecticut mansion owner, had her recreate a segment of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece on her bathroom ceiling. Here she is, painting The Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Planets:

JP

After expanding and making her mark throughout the Tri-state area (any mural my stand-up father saw in a restaurant prompted him to ask “Hey Gabe, do you think Mom painted that?”), she put down the palate and picked up some scissors. With a few years spent as a florist, and a couple husbands later, my mother has finally found the means to do what she loves, this:

Hot Sunset, 2010

…which brings us up to date: 20 Years on Hatch Pond. But that’s all I’m going to show you. To see the rest of the series, you’ll have to come to the show—and why wouldn’t you? There’ll be art, food, and not to mention a beautiful view of Hatch Pond. Plus I hear there’s going to be free booze!

So that’s my mom, Jeanne Perez. I hope you enjoyed reading about her as much I enjoy being her son. Thanks for the inspiration, Mom. Aw shucks!

Coming up next:

someone else!


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2 thoughts on “Artist of the Month: Jeanne Perez

  1. An Informal Review of the Exhibition

    Jeanne Perez’s “20 Years on Hatch Pond” retrospective show was a wonderful community event that defied threatening weather (tornado warning), torrential rain, and the local art establishment. And the paintings were brilliant — literally. Jeanne Perez sidestepped the commercial galleries and local art association to mount her show her way. There were no price tags, no price list. No anxious gallery owner sizing up the crowd’s spend potential. Jeanne wanted to have a party of close friends and family and neighbors, surrounded by art, and she delivered with startling work seen by few persons over her 20 years as a homeowner and taxpayer and resident of South Kent. Yes, I said brilliant, and I said startling: In Jeanne’s newer paintings in a scale-range from playing card-size to picture window dimensions, Jeanne employs glazes of metallic pigments, a daring and unconventional technique in representational painting. This respondent’s attention was drawn repeatedly by a large canvas, ‘Ernie’s Grove’, dominated by the dark shadows of treetops and pondside vegetation, pierced by defining silver light. Moonlight? Starlight? Midday sunlight through dark glasses? Whatever — the point is the light would be blinding if not for the shadows; the ambiguity essential to the experience.

    The informal ‘Upstairs Portrait Gallery’ featured an ecclectic mix of portraits by the artist’s family and close connections. The dozen works include Jeanne’s self-portraits as a child with Mama and Papa, as a defiant young art student, as a younger middle-aged woman, and present-day artist hitting her stride.

    Anyone who was there will also tell you the vivacious hostess has a knockout gift for hospitality as well, with dramatic arrangements of fresh flowers (by Jeanne) accenting the space, and an enormous buffet (by Jeanne)of savory breads, cured meats, exotic dips, and home-baked pastries.

    Make sure you’re on the Guest List for 30 Years on Hatch Pond!

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