About Me


Jen 

Starwalt

My Inspiration

In the studio life pulses, creativity grabs hold, and time falls away. It is just me and the pure pigments of the soft pastels. Vibrant and alive like the wild. My inspiration comes from all around us. All of what I have seen, explored and become. My art is built upon a lifetime of experiences, adventures, observations and feelings. Each mark I make carries all of my heart and soul. It carries the energy and expression that surrounds and manifests in all things. Waking up to howler monkeys singing through the jungle canopy of Costa Rica. Swimming with sea turtles in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Watching a black bear feast on berries while enjoying my morning coffee. From a simple walk in the forest to the feeling of sand between my toes on a sun-soaked beach.  I watched fish swim through a creek in the deserts of Death Valley. I've seen the night sky ignite with the light of a thousand galaxies in Joshua Tree. Stood in awe of the giant sequoia trees, basked in the glory of the red rocks and fell in love with the majestic bison on the plains of Yellowstone. Each experience deepening the connection I have with nature, myself and my art.  Adding purpose to the mark I make, more richness to the color I choose and more joy to what I create. When you truly walk this Earth, it becomes you. It’s a beautiful gift I get to take with me to the studio, but the true gift is the joy I get to share with you.

My Process

It all starts with the surface. I use a heavy sanded pastel paper designed to grip and hold the soft pastel. The paper comes on a giant roll, as big as me (now I know what you're thinking. I may be vertically challenged but still. A roll as tall as me!) My framer (I use the world’s greatest) cuts the paper to size, then hot presses it to an archival board. This has three main advantages, first it gives me a very firm surface to work on. Second, it prevents the paper from warping, wrinkling and bending over time, and finally it adds stability and structural support for framing these large works under glass.   

Now the fun begins. I start by laying in big blocks of color. Dark to light, warm to cool, till the whole paper is covered. I work the background first then the subject, putting most of my attention on the eyes. Capturing the soul is the most important part. I want to connect right away.  Then comes my favorite part- adding detail with tiny strokes of color. Layer upon layer I build up the colors, mixing warm and cool, light and dark till the painting comes to life. When you stand back, they create the larger shapes and forms of the subject. Up close vibrant strokes sing and dance across the surface. Each complements the other, making the painting fascinating from any viewpoint.   

Once the painting is complete, it is sprayed with a non-toxic, all-natural casein-based recipe used by Degas. It’s the only formula I have found to keep my colors exactly as I painted them.  Several layers of a light mist are applied over the course of an hour or so, giving proper time for each layer to completely dry before applying the next. After several layers of fixative, the pastel is set and ready to be framed. Back to the frame shop it goes to be finished in a soft gold frame. A spacer is placed between the painting and the anti-reflective art glass to preserve all the texture and archival qualities of the soft pastel medium. Thanks to the pure pigments of the pastels each work of art will be forever as vibrant as the day it was brought home.

  

Current Information

WHITESIDE ART GALLERY – CASHIERS, NC – JUNE, 2021 – CURRENT 

LUCY CLARK GALLERY – BREVARD, NC – FEB, 2021 – CURRENT

PASTEL SOCIETY of AMERICA — JURIED MEMBER 

B.F.A — SAVANNAH COLLEGE of ART and DESIGN — 2006

Past Exhibits

SOUTHEASTERN WILDLIFE EXPO (SEWE) — CHARLESTON, SC — FEB, 2017, 2018, 2022 

 EXHIBIT — 4 CORNERS GALLERY AT THE TUCSON DESERT ART MUSEUM — TUCSON, AZ — NOV — Dec 2018 

EXHIBIT — DANVILLE ART GALLERY — DANVILLE, CA — JAN — FEB, 2018 

PANDO FINE ART - PARK CITY, UT – FEB, 2017 – JUNE, 2020 

SEWE — LIVE PAINTING AND AUCTION — CHARLESTON, SC — FEB, 2017 

EXHIBIT — 4 CORNERS GALLERY AT THE TUCSON DESERT ART MUSEUM — TUCSON, AZ — NOV — DEC, 2016 

EXHIBIT — GALLERY 43 — ROSWELL, GA — NOV, 2016 - MAR, 2017 

EXHIBIT — GALLERY AT FLAT ROCK — FLAT ROCK, NC — JULY — SEPT, 2016 

ART SPARK — LIVE PAINTING AND AUCTION— BREVARD, NC — AUGUST, 2016 

RED WOLF GALLERY — BREVARD, NC — MAY, 2016 — JAN, 2021 

SOLO EXHIBIT — 44 MAIN GALLERY — BREVARD, NC — APRIL - MAY, 2016 

PIGMENTS OF THE IMAGINATION — TC ARTS — BREVARD, NC — MARCH — APRIL, 2016

Publications and Accolades

FINE ART CONNOISSEUR — JAN/FEB, 2017, 2018, 2022 

PASTEL SOCIETY of AMERICA — JURIED MEMBER 

THE LAUREL OF ASHEVILLE — OCT, 2018 - APRIL, 2021 - OCT, 2021 

SEWE ART BOOK — 2017, 2018 

WESTERN ART COLLECTOR — FEB, 2017 

SOUTHWEST ART — JAN, 2017 

THE LAUREL OF ASHEVILLE — COVER ARTIST — OCTOBER, 2016 

BOLD LIFE — MAR, 2016 - JULY 2016 - AUG, 2016 - APRIL, 2022 

B.F.A — SAVANNAH COLLEGE of ART and DESIGN — 2006




My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.

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