An Artists Interview: Barbara Jernigan

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Welcome to the continuing efforts of Ginny Brennan to interview artists from all around the U.S.! Today she interviews artist Barbara Jernigan. Enjoy the talent and history of this wonderful artist.

Ginny – What got you interested in art?

Barbara – Art has been a large part of my life since I was seven years old. One of my cousins and a neighbor let me watch and try drawing with them. My love of watercolor came from the influence of my high school art teacher. Watercolor is where I have focused my study and my own art and my own teaching.

Ginny – How did you start out your with your artist training?

Barbara – Started out majoring in art in college, then changed to social studies. Taught school for two years and then went back to school to become a CPA, but never gave up painting.

Ginny – What is your preferred medium and why?

Barbara – Watercolor is my preferred medium. I love the magic of watercolor, the fact that the medium is part of the end result is magical.

Ginny – How would you describe your style?

Barbara – I would call my work traditional realistic, sometimes impressionist. When painting in fluid acrylic or on Yupo my work becomes very abstract.

Ginny – How long have you been painting?

Barbara – I started painting when I was about 13 years old. I started using professional supplies at 16. I didn’t sell my art until years later, however I had paintings stolen from an exhibit when I was 17 and also from the back seat of my car.

Ginny – Are you a member of artist associations or on-line memberships?

Barbara – I am President of Tennessee Watercolor Society and Member of the Watauga Art League in NE Tennessee. I was also inducted into the National Association of American Pen Women

Ginny – Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?

Barbara – Vincent Van Gogh because of his use of color and how he evokes the spirit of what he is painting.

Ginny – Can you remember one of the first things you drew or painted.

Barbara – I used to draw fairies. I believed they lived under my Grandma’s garden bushes. Eventually I gravitated to drawing and painting flowers.

Ginny – Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?

Barbara – My goal was to be a landscape painter. I love vistas, I love trees, and I love creeks. Most of my inspiration comes from looking out the car window.

Ginny – What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Barbara – What people are always surprised about me is when they learn that I’m an accountant and an artist and the way they came together is that I like to eat.

Ginny – Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art?

Barbara – I try to step out of my zone as often as I can. One thing I noticed when I moved to NE Tennessee is people here are not drawn to abstract. A Chinese Tao saying – If this morning you paint a perfect painting then this afternoon you must die (because there is nothing left to accomplish.

Ginny – Do you try to make a statement with your art?

Barbara – Yes – usually through painting an expressive landscape about the beauty of the world around us. I want people to feel what I feel.

Ginny – Do you have a fun story you’d like to share?

Barbara – I paint with a group of gentlemen who all paint very traditionally and their favorite thing to say is “can you believe she made that painting turn out, it was the biggest mess you have ever seen”.

Ginny – What in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?

Barbara – I think the hardest thing about creating a masterpiece is how much time it takes to develop the skill to do it.

Watercolor Artist: – Barbara Jernigan, Johnson City, TN
President – Tennessee Watercolor Society –
Member of Watauga Valley Art League –

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