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Artist ID: 2338

My body of work is a large one. I paint many styles, and I like it that way. I may never just paint one way although I was told right out of college by a gallery owner that my 17 pieces of work were “...nice, but looked like 17 different people painted them”. No, he did not take my work. And I understand the business end of wanting work to be recognizable. But now, 40 years later, I have folks who tell me they recognize my work--usually by color.
I work seriously painting representational work then I swing to fun. After a tight portrait, I may move to a completely nonobjective mode that often moves to an abstraction of something recognizable but wild. Sometimes I just leave it nonobjective.

That is me; that is my artist’s statement. I have to do these different styles. It is mood swings, different art for different days. Every day is a new day. I paint for myself, and I paint for others. If someone commissions me to paint their dog, then so be it. Same with a home portrait. They know it will be recognizable and not too playful. But sometimes I want to play. I spent a lot of time learning how to paint and then realized many people don’t want traditional art. I taught art seven years at a mental hospital and I found creativity springs from many wells. I taught at a federal prison for a year as Artist in Residence, and I saw art transcend the locked gates. That culminated at The MS Museum of Art show called When the Caged Bird Sings. Locally as Artist in Residence for the Baptist Healthplex I helped other artists get started; young and old find out that Art is everywhere in Life and that they can begin the journey of understanding.

A series of 52 Paintings in 52 Weeks spurred me to hopefully try new things and to hone my overall painting skills. I went through a tragic death in my extended family and didn’t want to paint one week but pushed through had four paintings associated with the death, time passing, healing.

Art springs from deep within or from a shallow pool, but it is a human thing to make pictures of our lives of what is around us or in us; some folks paint, others write, or maybe some folks just talk. Left-handed, I have a very quiet side that looks out and “sees” . My observations of this Life have been very good and very bad. The fun parts often swing to the chaotic, but the bad goes there too but with the heaviness of grief. I have learned to appreciate peace--that plateau that I used to think was boredom. With these swings artwork has been flung out of me, squeezed out of me, demanded to be out of me. I am aware that what I produce glorifies something; mostly I choose to glorify Beauty, Harmony be it by realism or not. If expressively I want to make a statement of some horror of this Life, then, so be it; and the work won’t be pretty. So, I have a varied body of work, both in style and subject. But, then, Variety is the spice of Life.

My name is Jeanette Jarmon, born 1954 in Vicksburg, MS, third child in a family of five. I lived there throughout school, participated in many activities.A traumatic event happened right after high school graduation. I then attended junior college and graduated from Mississippi College, Clinton, MS. I married and had four children, painted a little, taught private art lessons, continued education towards my master’s degree as a stay-at-home mom. The 13th year of marriage ended in divorce, and I had to determine what I was going to do. I got counseling for the divorce and the earlier traumatic event. Having earned a teacher’s license as I majored in Art at MC, I ended up teaching some, working at a florist, and helping a sign painter. I painted my first series of 9 paintings, many spiritual and expressionistic, during the discovery and hell of the divorce, also got to change the course of my master’s classes as my mentors saw that I would probably work with special populations with my art. And that is what happened. I did teach some regular public school classes, would quit after two years, swear off teaching, free-lance for a couple or a few years, need a steady income, go back to teaching—but along the way I wrote and received city, state and federal grants which were great opportunities to work with special groups to produce art, murals, have shows. The federal grant thought the Justice Department, William James Association (CA), and the Mississippi Museum of Art allowed me to be the Artist in Residence for the Yazoo City Federal Correctional Institution. After that someone suggested that since I liked special populations that I might be hired to teach art with the Rehabilitation Department of Mississippi State Hospital, the largest mental hospital in the USA at the time. I was hired and worked there seven years with patients from four years old to the elderly. At that time MSH had 1000 patients, 3000 employees, an accredited school, a children’s residential building, several adult patient buildings, and eleven nursing homes. We had an Art Department with several artists, licensed to teach art. Yearly there is an art exhibit called Serendipity, and we helped the patients develop their art, them teaching me much about creativity, and we prepared the work to exhibit and sell with income going to the patients. While there I earned National Board Certification in Art. I was Artist in Residence for the Baptist Healthplex in Clinton, MS for several years, displaying and selling my art along with 30 other artists that I helped display and sell their art. I went through a very intense 8-week Bible study resulting in healing of the trauma of 1972, the divorce, 1991, and the set me on a path of the importance of forgiveness and Love for others and myself.

After that I free-lanced again, developing my company which I had started in 1991 because I had to be a company to get my first federal block grant with the MS Department of Human Services for which I developed a video series, THE CREATIVE CHILD, with MS Educational TV and wrote a curriculum for caregivers, so my company went from me having it for grants and selling originals to producing prints, t-shirts, cards and bags with my art on the products. (I had 20 stores at most but now focus on originals and printed canvases, fewer stores.) I then taught at Chamberlain-Hunt Academy, a private school for boys based on military-style discipline and had much freedom to develop my work for the guys to witness an artist at work and painted a series of 52 PAINTINGS IN 52 WEEKS which resulted in a show at the Rozenzweig Art Center in Columbus, MS, and the Mississippi State University Student Union. I also have had several shows in different places. I’ve also illustrated three books and painted two book covers for four authors.

I taught one semester for Wayland Baptist College (Texas) at their Kenya, Africa, campus. Somewhere along in my life I have been a judge for several public and private school art competitions and MS ETV. I started the Art Department for Terry High School, Terry, MS.

So I have done a lot of things to stay in Art and to continue painting. My styles are varied from a sort of realistic impressionism, childhood imagination, political protest and expressionism.

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