Jean Kinney


Born in Bellingham, I recently returned to my home base when we moved back to Whatcom County.  After retiring from elementary education in 2004, I became a full-time artist.

I studied art in workshops and conferences seeking out the best realists.  Traditional training in drawing and painting had nearly disappeared in the 60s, 70s and 80s when abstract nonrepresentational art came to the forefront.

For more than ten years I painted every Friday with a group of artists that employed live models.  Painting from life is always the best.

It has taken me a few years to feel as comfortable painting with oils as I did with soft pastel.  Oil is a forgiving medium, but it has its unique challenges.  I have been using gouache for plein air because it is portable, less messy and dries quickly.  Although it is water-based gouache is more like oil because of its opacity.   Most recently I have experimented with oil and cold wax medium because it creates texture and a wonderful matte finish.  

My subjects are portraits, the landscape, birds, animals, and flowers.

What I love most about painting is the challenge.  How do you convey the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface?  You cannot just paint what you see.  You can’t paint what you think you see.  The canvas has its own reality and its own rules.  Enter this world and you will understand what has captivated artists for centuries and what sends us back to the studio day after day.  It’s truly magic!


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