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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Jennifer Mondfrans

Jennifer Mondfrans

Born in Salem, Oregon as Jennifer Wilkinson in 1970–Jennifer Mondfrans lives in San Francisco.

Autodidact by nature, Jennifer created her independent painting classes while studying philosophy at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Her first painting won the President’s Award, the school’s top art prize. She also won a grant to fund the creation of a 4’ x 7’ acrylic painting which was featured on the 1993 yearbook cover and is now in the college’s permanent collection. Jennifer was the second woman in the college’s history to receive honors in Philosophy in 1993 and the only one to do so without taking a class in her thesis topic (metaphysics and Spinoza).

After college, Jennifer continued to paint (sometimes in heated conditions) while working as a residential counselor for teenage girls then as a writer for an adventure travel magazine, traveling to Italy and India on assignment. Working as a temp for the front desk of an ad agency, she was hired as a copywriter. Although it was only eight months until the agency folded, she freelanced for five years– painting in the after-hours while working in all forms of advertising, from print, web, to six-pack beer copy and writing infomercial scripts. On moving to San Francisco in 2002, Jennifer took a myriad of part-time jobs and built a body of work. She has shown in San Francisco, New York City, Portland, Oregon, Hudson, New York, Gold Coast, Australia and the National Steinbeck Museum.

In my work, I do portraiture influenced by the purity of color, as well as by philosophy, science and storytelling.

I use oil, acrylic and wax pastel to explore faces through high-octane color without using the color black. I like juxtaposing complementary colors, layering the medium to create a textural topography of each face.

All my work is drawn free-hand, where I use photographs as a guide. In the mixed medium pieces, I use water-soluble wax pastels and acrylic on unstretched canvas. I like the tension between seemingly incongruent colors and materials and the physical texture of rough surface between mediums. In the oil paintings, I try to maintain the opacity and thickness of pure color by using a dry brush. I like the familiarity between oil and wood that can bring out the colors in unusual textural ways.

I am inspired by true individualism. Especially those whose self-determinism defied odds with a vision that expanded the boundaries of how we think, thereby influencing the cultural mind.

The subject dictates the medium and the form, ranging from traditional portraits, to conceptual, to participatory installation art.

1993, BA in Philosophy with Honors, Lewis and Clark College, Portland OR

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