Artist Feature: Jennifer Moreman

Dallas-born Jennifer Moreman knew at an early age that she wanted to be an artist: a popular aspiration for many children, but Jennifer learned the challenges of turning that dream into a reality.  She chased her passion through her studies, trial-and-error, and some risk-taking along the way, and in the decade since her graduation from Baylor University, has found success and emerged as an artist whose paintings are recognized and appreciated not only in her native Texas, but around the world. 

"Smitten"

We had the opportunity to talk to Jennifer, who now resides in Tyler with her family and stays busy with commissioned projects, about her journey, her style, and her inspiration.

TB&B: Is art something you've always had a passion for?  When did you decide to pursue it as a career?

JM: I've been fond of art my whole life.  I colored for hours as a small child.  I was an aspiring artist in middle school and decided I would major in art during my junior year of high school.  I had amazing art teachers at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas, and then again at Baylor.  I'd say if it weren't for them, I would not have become the artist I am today.  They pushed me to take risks and have fun.

TB&B: Which media do you usually work in?

JM: I use a lot of different types of paints, including acrylic and oil.  I once even used finger nail polish, though that may be a one-time deal. :)  I like to experiment and use paints in unusual ways to get them to do what I want.

TB&B: How would you describe the typical aesthetic of your artwork?  How has that style changed and evolved throughout the years?

JM: I think I am a bit different from some artists because I have two completely different styles that I paint in.  I love to paint my whimsical, drippy animals, and then I love to experiment and play with my abstracts.  Both styles are very colorful, and I hope people find them exciting.  When I get frustrated or stuck on one I go to the other.  I'd also say both are a beautiful mess.  I never take myself or my paint too seriously, and if I'm not covered by the time I wrap up, something didn't go right.  I think I've gotten better with that through the years.

"Olivia the Octopus"

TB&B:  Tell us about some of the pieces you've had commissioned.

JM: A lot of the work I do is commissioned.  I work with a lot of talented designers and clients.  I recently finished a longhorn for the University of Texas, my husband's alma mater.  It is going in their Student Union building.  I also did two pieces for suites in the new Baylor football stadium.  I have giant chevrons in Beverly Hills and bulls in New Zealand.  I need to get a map and start pinning where I ship my work.  It would be fun to keep track!

I love the challenge of a commission.  Some clients know exactly what they want and others just give me a couple of pointers and let me go with it.  I'm usually about 4-6 weeks out and they keep me busy.  I am very thankful to be a booked artist.  Blessed for sure!

TB&B: From where do you draw your inspiration?

JM: Through my art, I focus on everyday moments taken for granted in life and encourage people to notice the simple splendor in the details.  I depend on my capability to pause and recognize the natural beauty of the world and the interesting features found in God's creation that most people walk past each day and often overlook.  My enthusiasm and joy as an artist comes from the ability to remind people that life is beautiful.

It was such a joy to get to know Jennifer a little better.  Her paintings really do excite - seeing the beautiful colors in person puts you in awe and lightens your mood.  The longhorn paintings are my personal favorite - but how great would any of these beauties complement your home, no matter what your décor style?  Whether your vibe is more rustic, contemporary, or traditional, Jennifer's paintings bring a bold, visually interesting and gorgeous pop of color to any room. 

To see more of her paintings available for purchase, shop the links below or visit her Etsy shop.

Photographs of Jennifer byJessica Grammon Photography

Find Jennifer Moreman on Facebook or on her website here.

Images courtesy of Jennifer Moreman, used with permission.  Please do not use or copy any of the images from this post without express written permission from the artist.

Desert Canary Design

"Where there is a will, there's a way" is a familiar mantra to Carly Melancon, owner of Desert Canary Design.  With a newly renovated but empty house to decorate and quite a disparity between what she'd envisioned her décor looking like and the realities of a young 20-something's budget (don't so many of us feel that pain!), Carly went to work on what she calls "furniture plastic surgery."  The term is pretty spot-on, and Carly has managed to turn her personal hobby of giving old pieces new life into a business for people "with ro-day-oh taste on a ro-dee-oh budget."  Running her restoration business in Huntsville, Carly has re-done custom pieces for clients all over the state.  Each piece has a unique Texas hacienda feel with a touch of rodeo flair.

TB&B: How did you learn the techniques for painting and reupholstering furniture?  Is it something you've always liked to do, or a more recent hobby?

CM: Refinishing furniture has been a self-taught experiment full of trial and error.  It all got started when my husband and I bought our first house and I had a very specific image in mind as to what our house would look like.  Imagine, if you will, the interior design images from the pages of Cowboys and Indians, combined with every Pinterest page related to "colorful hacienda," all smeared into one little house.  Then I very quickly realized the reality of my fresh-out-of-college budget vs. high-end home décor. But, where there is a will, there is a way.  I turned to the Internet to teach myself the techniques needed to create the pieces that I had envisioned in my house on a modest budget. 

TB&B: How did you make the transition from a doing this as a personal hobby to running a business?

CM: My furniture started to grab the attention of my friends and family, and I would do a few little odds and ends for others, but I didn't really gain the confidence to treat it like a business until about two years ago.  Our best friends' mom showed up at my house with a stock trailer full of furniture and basically told me that if I was willing to treat her like a client and not my best friend's mom, then she was willing to do business with me.  She was the push I needed to take the leap from hobby to business, and for that I will always be grateful.

TB&B: What are some of the craziest places you've found furniture for your projects?

CM: My poor husband has high-stepped across a highway or two to retrieve a chair out of ditch with me yelling, "High knees! High knees!" from the safety of the truck.  I have ventured into some shady places for a bargain, but the one trip that stands out the most in my mind is the dark warehouses in downtown Houston.  The gentleman turned out to be a very nice man and I got some really cool stuff, but my initial thought was, "Hmmm...this place seems familiar...

Oh that's right, Silence of the Lambs."

So aside from being pretty hilarious, Carly's got an obvious knack for turning forlorn into fabulous.  To see more of her work or inquire about a project, head over to the Desert Canary Design

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