Some artists can pinpoint an exact moment in life where something influenced them to create art. Local acrylic painter Jennifer Lommers is one of those individuals, and her fascination with animals and nature as a child provided the canvas.
“I was first drawn to making art due to my love of animals,” Lommers said. “I loved camping, hiking, and fishing as a child growing up on the Puget Sound, with all the wild critters around. My parents bought me Ranger Rick magazines, which I devoured, and then took my favorite pictures and tried to duplicate them in colored pencil.”
The colored pencil soon gave way to the paint brush, as Lommers started working in watercolors. “I love putting shapes, lines, textures, and colors together to make some form of harmony,” she said. “I must create something, and I’ve found painting is how I best communicate myself artistically.”
Much like her introduction to art began at an early age, so too did her education with painting. Reflecting, Lommers mused, “My first ‘art’ class was at our local community fair when I was about seven. A woman next to the dart-throwing booth, where I won a goldfish, was giving lessons to children on painting horses.” Luckily, Lommers was the only kid to show up for it, and the one-on-one time spent with that instructor proved invaluable. She was hooked.
When it was eventually time to head to college, however, Lommers felt the need to put her love for painting on the backburner. And like many artists before, and surely after her, she was drawn back in fairly quickly. “I stopped painting and focused on school, planning to study in a science or engineering field at the University of Washington,” she said. “After my first year there, though, I took an elective ‘Life Drawing’ course, and again fell in love with art.”
Not only were her college art teachers Eugene Pizzuto, Karen Ganz, and Michael Spafford her favorite artists, but they helped lure her away from different studies. Lommers graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1992, with a concentration in painting. She later received an art education certification from Western Washington University in ’95.
Lommers, who performs a gestural style of painting, has produced memorable pieces of everything in nature from birds, flowers, and trees to abstract landscapes and block art paintings. She says she was trained as an oil painter in college, but she currently prefers acrylics.
“At first I didn’t have studio space to accommodate using oils after graduation from college, and then because I fell in love with the speed with which I could paint [in acrylic]. I love how they dry, giving me the ability to quickly build many layers of texture and color.”
Lommers is currently renting space downtown at the Drawing Board for an interactive art show called A Little Wild at Heart, which donates 40% of its sales to the Chintimini Wildlife Center. The show runs until Thursday, March 27 and will conclude with a closing party at 6 to 8 p.m. that night.
You can also check out Jennifer Lommers’ work and buy directly from her at http://jenlo262.etsy.com.
By Patrick Fancher