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Jennie Traill Schaeffer

The process of applying pigmented oil to a surface – pushing it, mixing it, turning it into the essence of something conveying meaning – becomes a playful, intellectual, and spiritual experience. I play with paint, mixing brushes and knives to create the topography of gesture. Whether I’m working in heavy oils, brushing on transparent watercolors, or pulling a print, the physicality of the medium calls to me and keeps me wanting to create. In the words of artist Wayne Thiebaud, “Manipulation of paint is key.”

As I am moving through a period of growth as an individual and an artist, my subject and medium has shifted. Landscape has been a genre that I periodically return to and find recently is a vehicle towards peace and healing. I often feel that recreating a landscape alone is not enough. Content is critical to me and I seek out unlikely juxtapositions to re-contextualize and explain my current state of being – recently combining image transfers of tea packaging with layered landscapes, to both retain beautiful packaging from entering a landfill and as a need for personal space and calm. The tea package becomes part of the landscape, evoking a sense of mystery forcing you to look into the environment. Tea drinking has become a pause in the day for me, a meditative moment. The presence of tea in the works alludes to a spiritual underpinning of all landscape.