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Jerrie Jerné - Photographer to Painter

thumb_2_Jerrie Jerne-600.jpg

 Jerrie Jerné
Photographer to Painter

By Sharon Feissel 

Movement, color, and a certain flair are intrinsic to Jerrie Jerné, being natural to her as well as essential for her.  “I love dance.  I always have.  Color is a close second,” she says.  “Also exhilarating are all the possible texturing methods, such as a steel comb, painter’s spatula, fan brush, or the controlled pouring of paint, each with a distinctive effect. Two current pieces, Purple Complexity and Fantaskia exemplify the depth, energy, and movement I love to create through many layers of colors and textures.  The one thing I do when creating my work is listen to music.  Music has always inspired me.  My brushes and tools are now dancing on the canvas, playing with color, movement, and texture.”

But let us backtrack a bit.  Jerrie has been toting a camera around for decades.  While she has done the usual landscapes and flowers, she has also often sought abstract forms in such things as architecture, rock formations, and bark patterns.  Needing to be more expressive, Jerrie began taking selected photographs and using digital programs to distort, twist, turn, and recolor the images into genuine abstracts. Her digitally-produced series echoed Jerrie’s love of movement and color and were definitely done with flair.  Often she just started playing with the static form and ended up with figures swirling across the paper.

Fast forward to 2015, and we find Jerrie with tubes of paint and stacks of canvases. She says, “Walking into a painter’s life has been easy for me.  As a photographer I have always used my camera as my brush, searching for the pattern or shape that is unseen by most. Creating an abstract using my photography as my palette was my direction for almost six years, but starting with an existing image seemed a bit confining.  Actually, when it comes to self-expression, painting is definitely easier than photography!”  

She continues, “I am finding my intent and the outcome always differ.  I was once told that a painting sometimes dictates how it wants to look.  The secret is to let it guide you to its completion.  That is certainly true.  My paintings take on a personality of their own, which I love!  This can also be startling.  One piece became so dark and angry and intense that it almost scared me, especially when a screaming face emerged.  I actually stopped and left it alone for a while.  Ultimately, that piece was therapeutic, giving me a release from some things I had been feeling.  After that I was cheerful and happy again and able to pull out bright colors and lighter, sunnier pieces.  This has been a great experience.”

Jerrie’s new form of artistic expression--so unplanned and spontaneous, yet so effective--contrasts greatly with her straight photography, although her paintings do share a kinship with her digital creations.  Regardless of what Jerrie is showing at Riverfront Art Gallery in Petaluma and elsewhere, the work is a true reflection of her own creative spirit and expressiveness.