I utilize invented and appropriated source material to test image combinations and acceptability. I paint compositions themed in the natural world, including the worlds of botanic, insect, and bird. I am interested in a co-existence of styles, and I work this idea into a believable picture. The image styles within each work can span from graphic, painterly, illustrative, fantasy, realistic, or abstract. I see no boundaries in image choice, and hold judgment on the possibility to adapt images from many sources a respectful nod to the global world of contemporary society.

Along with these stated objectives my work also hints at environmental concern, most importantly human constructs in opposition to nature. To illustrate this I invent altered realities in the works, along with natural elements, pressed to illustrate unnatural conditions; such as a butterfly composed of colored marker dots, or filled with a depiction of sky. Another example might be a photo of a hand made paper flower standing in for the real thing. In this way these works are “conceptual constructs” foiled as paintings. The work rendered to be beautiful intends to attract, and then engage the viewer to consider what is being portrayed. I use varied styles of image and materials to mix things up and challenge myself to make the depictions convincing.

Additionally, paying homage to what is considered taboo in high art, for instance flowers and butterflies, is an important part of my feminist conviction. The theme itself demands a revision of acceptability, and an examination of the condescension of the feminine in contemporary art. I impose this image mode to realize tolerability in a patriarchal western culture. We live in a multi racial world that has an exciting potential for image mixing and cross-pollination of cultures, and so I borrow aesthetics from western and eastern art traditions. This is in line with my practices of Indian Yoga and Buddhist meditation. Always fascinated by pushing ideas but respecting tradition, and in transcendence, as opposed to dogma.

Jennifer Bain
May 2015