Jeannete Caruth embodies a refreshing and inspirational approach to creating breathtaking paintings. She paints what people ask for!
In seven years, this self-taught artist has gone from painting postcards for friends to a major exhibition at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond earlier this year.
She has an interesting approach to her art, because she is not one who has to "have" before she can "do". She still works at an easel in her kitchen, using whatever brushes and found objects are at hand.
Until a few months ago, she supported herself by working at a local pharmacy and selling her paintings at craft fairs. Working by day and painting by night, she developed a loyal band of supporters and enthusiasts who promote her work at every opportunity. Her work is currently affordable and her painting is extraordinary, so she is sure to become more sought-after as time goes on.
In 2003, someone asked her to paint the famous "Boating Party" scene by Renoir even though she had never painted faces before. This painting of Renoir’s girlfriend and her dog was Jeannette’s first attempt at recreating Renior’s style. It is a detail from the Boating Party and shows Jeannette’s intuitive mastery of her art. The young woman appears true to the original, but is imbued with more life than the original.
This may be a result of Jeannette’s personal spirituality. A warm and gracious person, she continues to amaze her friends with her unassuming ways and incredible level of production. She didn’t start painting until 1998, when a vacation trip to Spain, Italy, and Switzerland inspired her to begin drawing. Once back home, her friends asked her to paint them…and so it began.
She painted landscapes, illustrations for childrens books, seascapes, flowers, and murals. Two years ago she started painting faces and became absorbed by Renoir’s work. After creating a series of impressions of Renoir’s work, she began painting portraits. Not content with producing work of a classical style, she recently branched off into painting of an oriental nature. This detail of a recent tapestry is unlike anything she has ever done before, and it is exquisite. The mountainous landscape sprawls across the ten foot hanging and create a sense of calm repose in the viewer.
Her next direction of choice is abstract painting, which I think will be her most interesting and challenging effort so far. When an artist paints representational scenes, there are visual cues which help convey the message. In an abstract painting, the observer does not immediately recognize what is producing the emotional responses to the painting. I believe it takes greater mastery to evoke emotion with an abstract painting than with a strictly representational painting. She has yet to show us any of her abstract art, but when she is ready, I will be displaying it here.
(click on the images to enlarge them. Use the following link to see the entire tapestry.)