Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

WHAT I'M WORKING ON NOW Since I joined Artists & Makers Studios in Rockville, I've been working on getting my space set up (it's a really cool former dental laboratory that came with some bonus dental equipment!) and working on a series of mixed media pieces exploring collective memory and collective amnesia.

WHAT I LIKE TO DO I love to paint people interacting, working, playing, and experiencing life. Every one of us has drama in our lives - tragedy, ecstasy, passion, anger, things that fulfill us and things that crush us. We are fascinating creatures. I hold a lens up to the moments and interactions that punctuate life and make it real. I'll admit It's hard to be a (mostly) representational painter without irony. I'm an apologist for painting what I see, but not a crusader. I see the figures in my paintings as part of a rhythm, a movement, a heartbeat. I want to give them weight and presence in the moment that they find themselves in, but a recognition that it is only a moment and it will pass. I try to avoid idealism and sentimentality, but I do employ love and forgiveness.

My latest series of paintings was inspired by the birth of my son. The whole birth experience in the hospital, from the first IV drip, to an unplanned journey to the OR, to the final moment of being wheeled out to the car with my new baby in my arms, was, for me, as much a magical and mystical experience as it was an unfamiliar and frightening one. I realized that even though childbirth is often characterized as a personal, solitary journey for a woman, there were actually many active participants in the birth - obstetricians, anesthesiologists, nurses, orderlies, pediatricians, family and friends. My paintings explore new mothers and new babies -- not in a bubble by themselves, but in the context of the hospital and the people who work there.

MY BACKGROUND I've been painting since I was 14 years old. I studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago while in high school and earned a B.F.A. from Cornell University, where I majored in painting and studied abroad in Rome. I have lived in the Washington, DC area since 2001.

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All work by Jennifer

Jennifer Bishop
16 x 20, Oil on canvas
Jennifer Bishop
36" x 48", Oil on canvas