This month, Jennifer is one of two guest artists at Louise’s ARTiculations. If you wish to be featured as a guest artist in a future post on this website, please contact me.

Do visit previous guest artists published in 2018 here.

Jennifer’s journey as a writer and artist

guest artist, Jennifer Armstrong, at Louise's ARTiculations
Portrait by Jennifer Armstrong

I spent the first 30 years of my adult life as a professional writer.

About ten years ago, I decided I had told all the stories I wanted to tell with words. That was when I turned to expressing myself visually, although in retrospect I see that I have still been attracted to story. Just as I once wrote different types of books, I now make different types of images - primarily portraits, abstract landscapes, and collage.

Here’s how I see storytelling in each of these genres.

Portraits

The abstract elements of line, value, and form combine in the same basic composition to create an infinite number of unique images.

Faces are the first pictures we distinguish as babies, and each portrait offers the viewer the opportunity to infer limitless stories: who is this, how is this person like or unlike me, what is this person thinking of in this picture?  Consequently, the storytelling is implicit and open-ended.

Abstract Landscapes

Abstract landscapes are the opposite of what intrigues me about faces.

Rather than abstract line, value, and form coming together to create a unique and concrete image, I see concrete elements of trees, mountains, and lakes, and abstract them to generic and suggestive settings.

Of course the storytelling works differently, inviting the viewer into a space that might exist in the real world, or only in the imagination, but still a space where one can exist for a time.

A story can take place within the abstract landscape.

 

 

Collage

Collage includes any expression where preexisting visual elements are taken out of disparate contexts and put together in a new way.

Like strangers at an intimate dinner party, collaged pieces ask questions of one another, finding common experience, creating a new story.

Please follow me on Instagram to see my visual stories @Jennitoga.  

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