'I paint the skies with peace and passion because that's the way they paint me.'
Ancient Romans regarded the hour before dawn and after sunset as holy hours separate from the rest of the day; we still connect with that feeling. Most people will enjoy a beautiful sunset, and those that rise early enough, a beautiful dawn.
Painting was a frequent joy as a child and I dreamed of becoming a skyscapist. One early photograph is of me at my little easel at about age 4. The painting that I had completed was a sky. Looking back, much of my early artwork was constructed with the emphasis on the sky. A little later, Paint-by-numbers was a frequent favorite gift at Christmas. I had landscapes and seascapes, even cityscapes but I always wondered, why no skyscapes?
The left brain earned me a living for years, but after moving to Malibu, I had an opportunity to work on photography skills. I enjoyed this but soon felt the limitations of having to search for what I wanted to create. Another 5 months later I was having difficulty getting my mind off one particular photograph I had taken. I had an epiphany: Now, you have to paint!
My medium is sky; I work in many different mediums to depict it: watercolor, acrylic, murals, oil, refractured watercolor, watercolor collage and mixtures of the above. Each offers different possibilities and have different strengths and restrictions. I also love working on different surfaces such as wood, metal or fiberglass, and on differently shaped surfaces, and can see 'canvases' in many places. I also do murals and other commissions - not always skies! In the last few years I have also incorporated the other half of my creativity - poetry - into my work by writing poetry for the paintings and painting the poem into the paintings. Additional I have published three books to date of poetry and paintings.
I show my work at art fairs, galleries and alternative spaces, primarily in Southern California.
Jeni Bate joined Fine Art America on August 29th, 2011.