Artist Jacqueline Chanda presents a collection of figurative paintings that explore everyday life in urban settings. View more of her compelling portfolio by visiting her website.
My passion for art started when I was a young child in Detroit, Michigan, where I was born. At the tender age of seven I did a drawing of my mother that actually looked like her. My parents’ reaction to the drawing indicated to me that I had something special. From that point forward, I asked for art supplies as gifts for birthdays and Christmas.
In those days, art was still very much a part of the public school curriculum. I remember learning about artists such as Picasso and Cezanne in elementary school. I even did a replica of the painting “Blue Boy” by Thomas Gainsborough.
As a young teen, my parents allowed me to turn our old garage into my art studio. In that space I did small paintings and drawings, and created handmade greeting cards that I later sold at the local stationery store.
By this time, we had moved to California. In high school I took every art class I could and became the art teacher’s protégé. For three years in a row, I won scholarships to attend drawing lessons every Saturday at the California Art Center, today known as the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
After high school, a scholarship took me to UCLA where I studied painting and drawing and obtained my undergraduate degree. Graduate school led me to Paris, France, where I studied visual arts, art education and plastic arts and theory and aesthetics at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts and the Sorbonne University. I also participated in open studio sessions at the Académie de Port-Royal. During this period, I exhibited at the Grand Palais and at the Galerie Louis Soulanges and sold work along the way.
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Upon graduation, my attention turned to building my academic career in art education. After a successful career, established through teaching and higher education administration, I turned my attention to my initial love—painting. I am now a full-time artist living in Tucson, Arizona.
Because I am inspired by all that I see, the subject matter of my paintings varies and includes landscapes, portraits, animals, figures and genre paintings (scenes of ordinary life). I particularly like creating genre compositions that examine and scrutinize people in different settings, allowing me to record the nuances of everyday life.
I generally do not paint people posing or staring directly at the viewer. I like capturing them in the moment, in candid unscripted poses with unguarded expressions.
The intent is to create visual metaphors of narrative moments in ongoing stories of life. Hopefully, my paintings encourage the viewer to connect with life on a different level; seeing themselves and everyone as an integral part of the human experience.
My representational oil paintings are executed alla prima or indirect. My strokes are suggestive, painterly and loose and my compositions often make use of accidental cropping as in a snapshot. The intent is to create a natural, dynamic, authentic environment that draws in the viewer.
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