What to paint, what to say?

acrylic painting of man falling

Hello, My name is Jenipher Chandley.

 I am going to start my first blog post ever off by skipping all the simple pleasantries and get right into it. You want to know why I am a painter and why I paint what I paint, right? The truth is, I don’t know exactly. I’ve been creating before I can remember and I don’t think of it as a thing I do, it is a part of who I am, it is my breath. I paint because I must, and to truly understand what feels to me a real necessity lies within the “what I paint”.

"As I Look To the Sky" is an oil painting depicting an immage of a girl looking at the view with a reflection of meteors in her sunglasses standing in an open field

I’ve always found peace when creating.It became my savior in hard times as a child, and onward into adulthood it gave me purpose. Creating any kind of art for me is the voice within screaming to be heard and understood. I sing, dance, sculpt, and write poetry, but the one I’m most fond of or any good at is painting.

I’m going to talk a lot about overcoming trauma throughout the Emerging Artist 2023 period, however I want to make this clear; I’m not a victim, I am a survivor. I didn’t want to be defined by what has happened to me, I never wanted to give my past any credit for any good that I have found in my life, I wanted my art to stand for itself not because there was sympathy from the viewer, I didn’t want to be some cause to make others feel good about supporting. I want people to love my work at first sight without knowing any of the story behind it and then love it even more after, However I know now how important it is to acknowledge the past and to understand that part of the healing is to see the good in all the bad that has happened.

black and white pencil drawing of a child crying in the doorway.

It was hard to accept and be thankful I was homeless at 14 or that I had to be in a domestic violence shelter alone and pregnant with two young children at the age of 20. As hard as these terrifying moments were for me, I had to be thankful, not resentful or blaming. These moments shaped me into the person I am today. I am very proud of who I’ve become even with all my faults. I know I’m still learning and growing and that is the most exciting part of all this. Every piece of art is a part of my growth.

I’ll continue to give little hints of what all I’ve overcome throughout this journey. I feel the important part we take in from all this is how we can relate and grow. Tears are tears no matter what the reason, now think about that. The desire to heal, to be happy and to find inner peace, the common thread in all humanity. I paint my heart and together we will grow. 

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