An early instructor told me my drawing skills were good, but that I wasn’t “seeing”. It took me a long time to understand her meaning.
Observing people in their environments and translating that image is a skill developed over a lifetime. I understand how people interact with others and with their surroundings, how a warm sunny place will make a person happily sit for a while; then distill this scene into its nuanced component shapes, colors, values and gestures.
I now realize that truly ‘seeing’ is not literal; to ‘see’ is multi-sensory. Even though I can faithfully — even beautifully — render a subject, that painting will not be complete until I can ‘touch’ the skin or fur of my subject, until I can ‘smell’ the air around them, when I can ‘hear’ what is going on in the scene — and when my audience can too. I strive to ‘see’ the scene so that every individual viewing my artwork can feel it’s emotion as if it were their own.
Jodie Kain’s first studio experience was in Robert Beverly Hale’s studio anatomy class at the Art Students League of New York, just a couple of years before his passing. This experience set the base of her artistic approach: an emphasis on strict anatomical modeling and other elements of the classical method. The highlight of working towards a BFA at Pennsylvania State University was studying under Artist in Residence Rob Neffson, a photorealist using the then-new methods of Richard Estes, building on the classical academic tradition. Later the opportunity to live in London and attend The Heatherley School of Fine Art arose. This training was supplemented by figure study classes at several artist’s studios, most notably the studio of June Collier.
After a career in high-end graphics systems, the Bargue & Cast curriculum at the Academy of Realist Art in Boston refreshed Jodie’s passion for realist pastel painting. Working full-time in her Leather District, Boston studio, Jodie focuses on the quiet reflective moments in life. Her paintings vibrate with emotion, set within a rhythmic world.
Why I prefer pastels.
Working with pastels is a tactile experience that deepens the connection to my work. Pastels are a high-quality medium, utilizing the same pigments as oil paints; in fact, pastels are basically oil paints without the oil. While some of the colors are synthetic, sometimes to eliminate toxicity, the majority are blended from minerals. The composition of each pastel can be adapted to adjust the vibrancy of the colors and are compressed without fillers. The colors remain true and don’t fade or oxidize.
To further protect my work, I use acid-free surfaces (laid paper, velour, and sanded paper) and backing, and frame the pieces as soon as they are finished, using light-filtering Museum Glass.
Exhibits & Awards
“Brad” & “Light Embrace” – 2018 Northeast National Pastel Exhibition, View Arts, Old Forge, NY, 23 June – 30 July 2018. “Brad” awarded Second Place, and “Light Embrace” won the Rooney ETC Award.
“God Is My Judge” – BoldBrush Online Painting Competition, May 2018, Outstanding Pastel Award and FAV 15% (jury’s favorite 15% of entries)
“Clammer” – Art Muse Juried Online Painting Competition, April 2018, Emerging Artist Finalist
“Triad” – Ivory & Lead Juried Online Painting Competition, March/April 2018
“Light Embrace” – American Women Artists 2018 Spring Online Juried Show
“Portrait of a Generation” – BoldBrush Online Painting Competition, January 2018, FAV 15% (jury’s favorite 15% of entries)
“Light Embrace” – Colors of Humanity Juried Exhibit November 2017 “Animals” show. Second Place Award
“Light Embrace” – BoldBrush Online Painting Competition, October 2017, FAV 15% (jury’s favorite 15% of entries)
“Light Embrace” – Gateway International Painting Competition, Finalist, October 2017
The Guild of Boston Artists 2017 Regional Juried Exhibition, September 9 – 30, 2017, ‘Award of Merit’ for “Brad”
“Brad” – Gateway International Painting Competition, Finalist, September 2017
“Miss Peanut” – Colors of Humanity Juried Exhibit May 2017 “Yellow” show. Honored as a ‘Noteworthy’ work.
“Granite & Silk” – BoldBrush Online Painting Competition, May 2017, FAV 15% (jury’s favorite 15% of entries)
“The Model” – Sedona Arts Center, April 2017 online show, Artist’s Choice Award
“Brad” – BoldBrush Online Painting Competition, February 2017, Outstanding Pastel Award and FAV 15% (jury’s favorite 15% of entries)
American Women Artists Associate with Distinction