Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been Creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Jen Chambers: While obtaining my degree in interior design, I recognized that in addition to expressing myself through the sum of an interior, I could at the same time enhance and convey my perspective through art. I began painting in 2005 and haven't looked back! Although I have many different styles of abstract artwork, I work primarily with acrylic mixed media's as well as encaustics. My artwork is highly textural and generally composed of a subdued color pallet.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
As a fair amount of my work is commissioned I will typically meet with a client and/or designer in their space and work with them to determine the best size, style, and color for the piece. Once the details are nailed down, I get to have my fun! Whether it be commission or a piece I'm doing with no direction in mind, my painting process remains the same. I always try to completely clear my mind, say a prayer for guidance, crank up the music loud loud loud, and let the painting come to life. I love to sing at the top of my lungs, dance around like a maniac between brush stokes, and be completely free! I cherish my painting time, its therapeutic for me. I get to let go of everything and everyone around me and just focus on being filled with joy....when I get to this place emotionally I know my creativity will lead the way. As wild and loud as this sounds, it results in a place of harmony, peace, and gratitude which is what I strive for my paintings to evoke.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from?
What inspires me the most is the joy my art brings to my clients. To see or hear the emotions that a painting creates for them is beyond gratifying. What inspires me personally is nature and all the textures that we are constantly surrounded by in the beautiful PNW. Anything from bark, stones, mountainscapes, rust, sand, movement created by water, or water in itself...honestly there can be inspiration and beauty found in anything if you choose to see it. I still have a passion for interior design and architecture so I am always inspired by other creative's as well.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special?
Although I become pretty attached to all my art as I put so much of my self into it I do have two pieces that I will never part with. One is the very first piece I painted (which I actually don't even visually care for anymore) but its special to me as it's where I started and to have an actual physical reminder of that is pretty awesome. The other which is hung on a wall in my house, is the top of a painting table that I used for five years in my studio. It has a marking or brush stroke of some sort from every single piece I painted in those five years. It signifies hundreds of hours of work, all the emotions that go into it, every single client I've had and piece I've painted. When I look at that piece I'm proud of the business I've created and overwhelmed with gratitude.
Do you have a specific beat you like best, nature, food, profiles, etc!
As I am an abstract artist I would say my 'beat' is organic fluid forms that usually incorporate repetition of some kind. As shown in both mediums I work with I am also greatly drawn to circles. To me they represent a perfect balance resulting in infinite harmony.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
My faith and my husband have been the most influential in affecting my art. They've both taught me to find strength in vulnerability, to be confident yet humble, and to love myself as I am while constantly striving to evolve and grow. This has given me the fortitude to create fearlessly in an arena when my artwork is constantly being judged. As far as life experiences go, after the passing of my dad, I couldn't get myself to paint for almost a year. Looking back a that time now it validates how much of my heart really goes into my art. This isn't just a job to me where I emptily produce. I put so much of myself into my paintings and at that time my heart was broken and I literally had nothing left to give.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go?
I show at Gray Sky Gallery in Pioneer Square. I also currently have art on display at Sorella Salon, Six Walls Interiors, and West Elm Bellevue.
How do you take your coffee?
I'm absolutely obsessed with Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew just as it is...its velvety perfection!