Jeanette Koumjian earned her BFA at Pratt Institute, where she also served as an Instructor. After an award-winning career in design and art direction, she turned to fine art, concentrating on oil painting and graphite drawing. Artist residency grants in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, have enabled Jeanette to spend many months capturing the southwest’s extraordinary terrain and light. Closer to her home and studio in New York, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, historic Green-Wood Cemetery, gritty Red Hook and gracious Park Slope all provide inspiration to both Jeanette and her private students. Her work has been featured in one woman, juried group and invitational shows at The National Arts and Salmagundi Clubs, both in New York; and the Berkshire, Armenian Library and Norman Rockwell Museums, all in Massachusetts. Jeanette has been a member of the National Association of Women Artists, New York Artists Equity and currently serves as Secretary of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, one of the oldest organizations in America serving women artists. Her work is found in private and corporate collections nationwide.
A person, place, thing, each has an energy of its own, and I leave myself open to that energy as it is revealed over time, through observation. Each subject is studied with equal intensity. Though my technical ability is an instrument of my creative aspiration, it is impossible to record every nuance occurring in nature. I rely on certain visual facts to guide me. I follow my source of available light and anticipate how it will influence my subject. Closely observed relationships of warm-to-cool and light-to-dark build form. Masses in dramatic contrast to subtle edges challenge me to examine precisely. I seek out patterns of line and geometry. As I progress, questions surface. Can light be that dark? Can atmosphere seem solid? Can I temper the balance between representation and abstraction? The reality before me answers, “Yes.” With time, the way my eyes see and the colors I record are taken over by the insistent life-force of the subject itself. I capture both a likeness and an essence. An exchange of energy takes place, from the subject through me, onto my surface. And, a work of art breathes a life of its own.
b. 1944, Elizabeth, NJ
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY