In The Studio with Jeanne Gentry Keck
Name: Jeanne Gentry Keck
Studio: 3500 Parkdale, Baltimore, MD (Woodberry Neighborhood of Baltimore)
Study or College: Studied at William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va and Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio
Media: Mixed media – oil, acrylic and mixed media on canvas and paper
Favorite Tools: Palette knives, brushes, and my hands.
Currently Working On: The title of my current show is “Novels of the Every Day.” I am interested in not dismissing the moments in life– all the little pieces that add up to the profound. Embedded in this work are notes, messages, and written words that occur throughout the days that are the remnants and clues to our lives. I love words, the words themselves, the ideas behind them, and even the markings and shapes of the letters. At the opening, some of my friends and family found pieces of their notes to me in the paintings.
Collaborations: My last body of work was a collaboration with a writer. I painted from inspiration from his work and he wrote from inspiration from my paintings. This body of work was called “Words and Paint/ Uncommon Dialogue.”
Studio Philosophy: My challenge always is to be brave enough to allow my vulnerability to be revealed. I think the only work that is truly interesting and has longevity is authentic work. I struggle with this. I think this struggle shows on my finished work.
Studio Frequency: I am in the studio working 5 or 6 days a week.
Upcoming or Current shows or projects: I am currently working on a series of works that I am calling “Dealbreakers.com.” It concerns the ridiculous to the profound, the thrill to the despair in the search for a relationship on social media. This work overlaps my previous series “Novels of the Every Day” and three of these pieces are in my current show at Galerie Francoise.
How’d You Start Out as an Artist: I have always written and writing continues to be a big piece of my painting’s content. At some point my interest in fashion took me into designing and making clothes. However, after a few painting classes, I became obsessed. The history of my creative life is evident in my current paintings.
Artist Whose Career You Covet: I have so much respect for all serious artists, since I know the difficulty and commitment that is required. It is not so important that I “like” this work. I am inspired by artists who demonstrate courage in their work such as Schnabel, Baselitz, and Kiefer. Those painters always make me want to rush to my studio to paint.
How You Get Through the Dull Times: I have always worked regularly whether “inspired” or not. What works for me is to be “with my work” regularly. I may walk out of the studio not having made one mark on a painting. I sometimes say, “I had lunch with my paintings today.” I don’t dismiss this, however, because I see it all as a part of the creative process.
What Motivates You: Life. I am in awe of life and living. I am sure that my questions and desire for making sense of life is why I paint. Painting has so enriched my life. The “art world” however is confusing. Solace comes from just painting.