From an early age I was interested in “making stuff”. My grandma taught me how to sew when I was 7 years old. From there I tried every craft that I could get my hands on.
Married and 4 kids later, I lived off the grid with my family on 40 acres in Washington State. There I homeschooled the kids and chopped a lot of wood, which I find relaxing. There was never a shortage of experiences to spark creativity. (My son wrote a book, Growing Up Itchy.) When the youngest was 5 we joined a missionary group in El Paso, TX. It was also in El Paso that I earned a AAS in Media Production and worked in TV News.
Years later and single, I moved to Winston Salem, NC. My son gave me a sample set of oil paints which I avoided for half a year. Then I opened them up and painted. I discovered that painting with oil was the perfect medium for me. It’s how I think and process.
From the beginning I have been drawn to the human spirit, portraits and figures. The character and emotions of humankind is so fascinating to me along with its connection to the unseen. I believe that abstract images are also connected to the deep things of the soul. If you knew how much I love animals you would know why I paint them. There is a special place in my heart for the furry ones. Landscapes are the newest concept I’m learning; I’m intrigued.
Over the years, I have participated in several local group shows. “How Do You Paint Courage” shows 1 & 2 each traveled for over a year installed in various venues in my surrounding region. Every time I show at the Center for Creative Leadership I sell.
It’s been my privilege to have taken workshops from Luana Luconi Winner, George Thompson, Tom Edgerton, and Ned Mueller. A library of videos and books keeps me happy and challenged to always improve my skills.
I sign the front of my paintings as “jmps”. The short explanation is, these are my initials: Jean Marie Piszkin (maiden name-Lithuanian/Russian) Smith. Then sign ‘JeanSmith’ on the back. Since Jean Smith is a common name that’s how you will know that painting is mine.
I would love to create your own commissioned piece to add to your family legacy.