About me

My story

the short version:

  • I am an artist, daydreamer and chronic doodler
  • Favorite media to paint with watercolor and acrylic paint
  • Illustrated a children’s book, Sweeter Than Honey
  • Enjoy painting large and on a small scale
  • Painting landscapes is a favorite of mine, it creates a feeling of peace
  • Dramatic cloud formations stop me in my tracks, so I capture it on paper

#drawing #jenniferbarrileart

The full story

Growing up in Philadelphia, with its rich traditions, vibrant city life and unique neighborhoods, has inspired much of my artwork today. A graduate of Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, with a B.F.A in Illustration, I was surrounded by a wonderful artistic environment of art galleries, museums, theaters and historic landmarks. The experiences gained at school led me to begin my career as a scenic painter for theater productions. I trained at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, painting larger-than-life backdrops, scenery and props for a season. I continued to work on other productions at venues including the Arden theatre and the Society Hill Playhouse.

A South Philadelphia tradition, the Mummers Day Parade has roots in the city for over 100 years. This televised parade is made up of a fun, eclectic array of string bands, performers and comic clubs that march along the streets in Center City and South Philadelphia on New Year’s Day. I am third-generation involved with the Mummers Parade; for over 25 years, I have designed and painted large-scale backdrops and props for individual clubs. The interesting work environment and tight deadlines challenge me creatively; it keeps me on my toes to the very end.

Today, I am raising my daughter in Roxborough, a lovely neighborhood in Philadelphia that I call “the hills of Philly.” A wonderful place for families, I’m drawn to the unique surroundings of this tight-knit community. My new neighborhood inspires my current work, including my cityscape and landscape paintings. The vibrant culture of Philadelphia is a part of me and my art, just as my art and I are part of it. 

My family is very supportive of my creative endeavors and sometimes they are the motivating force for my artwork. My daughter and husband were my inspiration for the illustrations I painted for the children’s book, Sweeter Than Honey, written by Juliette Kroger. The story consisted of 24 colorful scenic illustrations in watercolor about a father and daughter using funny comparisons to express their love for each other. It was the connection made with my own family that helped me along in creating the art to this lovely story. 

A favorite creative thing I enjoy doing is an art drop. An art drop means I leave small works of art around the city to be found, with the suspense of random people discovering the art. It is a plus when I receive a response from a finder; for example one message I received came from a lovely woman in Connecticut who received my art. The woman wasn’t the finder of my painting but instead received it from a family member who found the artwork I left at Valley Forge National Historic Park. Connecticut isn’t the farthest my art has traveled, but it was the most interesting story. 

When I am not collaborating with other artists or creating commissioned art, I enjoy making jewelry. I paint and sell one of a kind mixed media art pendants. The mini works of wearable art include landscape paintings and my favorite artist, Frida Kahlo, from my Frida collection. My jewelry is sold on Etsy @JensImaginings and at pop-up shops around Philadelphia. 

Creating art for me is about the visual journey, the emotion it conveys, and the connections made through the work I put forth. 

 

 

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Thank you for viewing my work. If you have any art questions or commission inquiries please feel free drop me a line.