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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jeannie McGuire _Interview

Dear friends! This is a first post in 2012! I tried to make it a real present to you all - it is an interview with an artist I noticed last year in several magazines, and decided to ask my questions. Here are the answers!

Jeannie, does your personal artistic style comes more from design or Fine Art? 
Design is an important element of my work.  My composition and drawing become the bones of the painting.  Then as I paint I continue to focus on the design, directional lines and shapes that encourage the viewers eye to move about the piece.

 Jeannie McGuire. Green Gloves. 22x30

When you start painting, do you have a fixed idea of what you wish to get as a result? 
Often I have an idea of a mood or story I would like to develop.  Sometimes I accomplish that goal amid a great amount of changing my mind along the way.

 Jeannie McGuire.. Birthday. 16x24

What do you think of flexibility of an artist?
Is it important to be able to change the path if the process turns some other way from planned?  Artists' must give themselves that flexibility, freedom to change the path otherwise their work would not grow.

 Jeannie McGuire. Coral. 18x14

Your images look so nostalgic. They are like parts of someone`s memories or dreams. How do you chose the image for painting? 
Old photographs and casual snapshots that we all have in our photo albums are appealing on many levels but mostly I'm intriqued with gestures, expressions and clothing styles during the 1900's.

 Jeannie McGuire. Milan Train. 21x28

Do you always paint from reference photos or sometimes you can get inspired by some life impressions?
 I take my own photos for specific projecs and will engage in random photo shooting when ever I can, to build up my reference file.  I miss so many good people shots because I can't retrieve my camera fast enough.  But I really enjoy drawing from live models and will use these drawings for reference as well.

 Jeannie McGuire. Pointe.9x9

What can you say about your palette? The colors of your painting are quite impressionistic. Do you have some special theory of your own? 
No theory other than I use many opaque and semi transparent pigments as well as titanium white, all of which creates wonderful variety.  I have some vibrant colors like Opera and Cobalt teal blue to jazz it up a bit and I was very fortunate to win an entire set, 270 tubes, of Danial Smith pigments a few years ago for an award with the California Watercolor Society.  This was a huge benefit and has allowed me great experimentation!

 Jeannie McGuire. Ornithion. 24x21

You are working impressively well with silhouette and contrast. Sometimes you even chose to skip the face features in your portraits that is very brave. Can you select several expressive means those are important to make a great art work? 
Art should be able to be viewed from across the room.  Key elements to consider are design, contrast, even if it is just enough to pop out light and delicate areas, and a  unique style.  The goal for me is to engage the viewer with a feeling, story or persona.  I like to capture the essence of a person through their gesture, stature, relationship to others etc. so the details and facial features are not always necessary.

 Jeannie McGuire. Lena 8x8

Do you work with traditional watercolor or acrylic too? Why it is necessarily to use white paint for your artistic goals? 
I only use watercolor.  The titanium white watercolor pigment allows me to create depth and what I call grounded colors, in other words not necessarily pretty clean colors but rather dusty and dull colors and shades.

 Jeannie McGuire. Plum Frost. 21x15

What is your painting background? How did you come to watercolor media?
 I've drawn and painted all my life and have a graphic design and photography background.  I concentrated on watercolor simply because I liked the flexibiliy of working on paper, being able to crop paintings by tearing a decal edge.  Joining the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society brought a large group of artists into my life and learning about tools of the trade followed.  I found professional watercolor pigments and papers to be very versatile, allowing me to be as painterly as I choose.

  Jeannie McGuire. Prima. 12x12

Do you think it is possible to teach how to become an artist or it concerns only technical skills? 
Teaching introduces ideas and technique and can inspire artists of all genres.  Creativity comes from within.


  1. Beautiful painter, beautiful interview. Thank you!

  2. Wow. Never heard of her very good and individual!