Friday, November 26, 2010

Jeanne Williamson - Exploration On A Theme

Holes In Fences #4
mixed media on cradle board

I have been aware of Jeanne Williamson's work for some years. The internet has allowed me to watch her progress and read about her studio experiences. I feel Jeanne is a person who knows what she is about and is moving straight ahead to make the things happen in her art life that she wants to have happen. I have enjoyed seeing how she has experimented with the presentation of her work and her concern for how her work is perceived.

Jeanne creates abstractions of the geometric patterns of building construction, building textures and repeats. She is inspired by the natural growth of the plants that grow around the constructions as well as the illusion of how one fence pattern reacts with another pattern. She combines monoprinting and painting, mainly on fabric, that is sometimes stitched to highlight different lines and patterns. Often this work is mounted on cradle boards. Some times she works with one large piece of fabric that is stitched and stiffened. The stitching highlights different lines and patterns within the work. Holes are cut in each piece following the pattern of the construction fences.

Jeanne is a visual artist, independent curator, web designer and author. She has a BFA from Philadelphia College of Art and an MSAEd from Massachusetts College of Art. She lives in Natick, Massachusetts.

I have not met Jeanne personally so I am especially pleased that she has agreed to share her work and her thoughts with me for my blog.


The first three questions are being asked to all participants this year.

Terry: At what point in your life did you know at your core that you were an artist?

Jeanne: I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was in high school. As much as I was interested in other subject matter, making art made me the happiest, and that led to my deciding to go to art school.

Fence Detail #4
mixed media on cradle board

Terry: Please describe your studio activity. What is your work habit? How do you balance the demands of daily life with work and studio?

Jeanne: I recently got a studio outside of my home, after 25 years of making art in my in-home studio, so I am learning a new way of working.

When I worked in my in-home studio, I worked at my art on and off every day for at least a few minutes and sometimes for hours. My space was in the center of the house on the second floor near my bedroom, and sometimes I'd even do some painting or sewing in my pajamas early in the morning or late at night.

Because I do have a freelance web design business, that comes first when I have work. When my web work is up to date, or when I'm waiting to hear back from a client, I'd work in my studio.

Now working in my studio means driving 10 minutes away, and I am learning to juggle my studio time around my web design work which is still at home. It's taking a little more planning on my part, but I'm getting into the groove. Sometimes I grab a half hour to an hour in my studio, and sometimes I can spend 4-8 hours, and sometimes I don't get there at all for a few days.

Luckily I have wireless internet at my studio, so I can still communicate with the outside world while I wait for paint to dry.

Patterns In Fences #3
mixed media on cradle board

Terry: Do you ever get into an artistic slump? If so, how do you rejuvenate yourself?

Jeanne: I don't really get into artistic slumps. Sometimes I won't feel motivated to work because I'm tired or too busy and sometimes I might have too many ideas and not know which to start first.

I do have two ways to avoid the slump. One is that I have been making one 12" x 12" piece every month for the past four years, and having a monthly, self-imposed deadline, helps keep me going. The second thing is that I always make sure to get a new project started immediately after finishing the previous one. That usually means having a printed piece of fabric hanging on my design wall that will serve as inspiration for the next project.

Weathered Fences #4-6
mixed media on stiffened fabric

Terry: Please share with us how you describe your work to someone who has never seen your work.

Jeanne: I create mixed media work that includes printmaking, painting and sometimes stitching, that is inspired by the grids of orange construction fences that can be found at construction sites.

Slivers of Fences #4
mixed media on cradle board

Terry: Anyone who is familiar with your work is aware of the fence element you have utilized in the development of a substantial body of work. What does this image mean to you and how might that meaning have changed from it's early use?

Jeanne: I love grids. I have a collection of over a dozen fences that have different sizes and patterns of grids. When I first started working with the fences in 2002, I was interested in using two patterns together in one piece that focused on a design. Over time I started to use the grids of local building projects (the lineup of windows, doors, columns, etc.) as the inspiration for work.

While I am still interested in this, at the moment I am combining building grids, design, and nature in my work, without specifically recreating a building. This change is mainly because through 2009 I was creating mostly large printed and painted art quilts. But since the beginning of 2010, I'm painting and printing and mounting my work on boards instead of quilting it.

Terry: How has your presence on the internet and your use of the internet supported your art?

Jeanne: I feel that having a web presence is an invaluable tool for me in many ways:

My work is accessible to people via my website anywhere in the world at any time. I have had galleries and museums contact me after seeing my work online that has led to being in various shows. I've also been invited to be in books, on TV and radio shows, and on occasion there have been sales.

I've been able to find artists that use construction fences in their work and who live in other parts of the US and in other countries. I think it's exciting to see what they're doing.

I have talked to artists about their art, different art techniques, where to find materials and supplies, and more. Sometimes I'm sharing information and sometimes I'm asking for suggestions and advice.

My blog, twitter, and especially my facebook accounts, have helped me find new art friends and appreciators of art. We exchange information, share tips, and every now and then ask for suggestions if we get stuck working on a piece and need advice.

Jeanne in her new studio.


My thanks to Jeanne for sharing information about her studio and her background. I hope you will take time to check her out via the provided links.

Thank you for spending time at
Studio 24-7!

I love hearing from you and Remember.....



  1. Thank you for sharing this and other interviews. I have been following Jeanne's work for years now and really appreciate the opportunity to delve into the artist's mind.