"Go Inside & Find Your Way" Interview with Jeannine Chappell

How do you describe your craft?

My work always begins on paper, using some combination of painting (watercolor, acrylics, gouache), drawing (ink, pencil), and pastels. I might continue to work on paper or I might scan the painting into the computer and edit it in Photoshop. The subjects span from owls to abstracts.

Describe one of your favorite moments as an artist.

I was beginning a series of owl paintings and, needing models, I went to a wildlife rescue center in California. A volunteer brought out a barn owl for me to photograph, and as I stood near it and watched it spread its wings, I saw its beauty and realized the vast possibilities for painting owls.

Barn Owl 25

What inspires or Motivates your work currently?

I want to take advantage of this unexpected gift of time. The universe is forcing big changes on us, and I want to be present for them.

What artists or people have influenced your practice?

The one teacher who was most influential for me was not a painter but Terry Sendgraff, a movement teacher I worked with for decades. She inspired me to go inside and find my own way of creating art.


At this MOment with COVID-19, how can the arts help?

Making art takes us inside ourselves and gives us a direction for this valuable time most of now have to be alone.

How has this situation hit your craft and how can we help YOU?

The one big hit my art has taken is with a book of my owl paintings that was scheduled to be released in the fall. The publisher has now told me that the release has been pushed out until next spring at the earliest. Just one more example of the domino effect of the pandemic.

Also the Blue Whole Gallery is closed for the time being and I don’t have that venue for showing my work. Projects like this one help.

Red Crowned Cranes

POst COVID-19, what do you hope changes? what role do you think the arts might play?

I hope that those in power will act on the now-obvious fact that all people in this country need an income that sustains them and health care that works to keep us all healthy. I don’t know what role artists might play – I will think about that.

What is ONE Creative Practice for any level artist that you recommend for our readers at this time?

I would suggest that we all engage in some kind of creative movement. In a crisis like this, we tend to move into thinking mode (which has its place, but is only one of many). I find dance is best for me (and there are many online dance groups available now). I know many people feel they cannot dance, but most all of us can put on some music and then sit in a chair and move our arms to the music.

The Magician Surprised

What were you concerned about 3 weeks ago that you’re no longer worried about NOW?

I used to think it was important to know what day of the week it is.

Anything else you wish to add?

We are all balancing the anxiety with the unknown with the opportunities this change is offering us. We need to be kind to ourselves and others, and be open to new ways of expression and of giving.

How can people connect with you? Find your work? (website, FB, Email, etc..)



A video slideshow of Jeannine Chappell's work: