By Bonnie Gangelhoff
When Jacqueline Kamin was growing up in Washington, DC, her parents often took her to exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art. “By the time I was 16, I had seen amazing paintings by John Singer Sargent,” she recalls. Jacqueline went on to study painting at the nearby Corcoran College of Art and Design and later with David Leffel. But she also found time to raise two daughters, Rachel and Stacy. Carrying on the family tradition, she took them on regular visits to the National Gallery. When Stacy showed a creative bent, Jacqueline enrolled her in art classes. Teachers told Jacqueline that her daughter displayed an amazing eye for color and design.
Today both mother and daughter are full-time fine artists, and both call Los Angeles home. Jacqueline is well known for her elegant still-life paintings, while Stacy creates expressive figurative works. “I love movement and capturing the moment,” Stacy says. Jacqueline enjoys the polar opposite—painting objects that don’t move, such as a vase full of peonies. “I like the control,” she says.
Both women are artist members of the prestigious Oil Painters of America and California Art Club organizations. Like her mother, Stacy pursued a formal education in art, earning a degree in illustration and animation from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, followed by a six-year apprenticeship with painter Shuqiao Zhou.
The Kamins get together once a week either to go to a museum or to paint together. Sometimes they critique each other’s work. Jacqueline says that if Stacy asks, she tries to give as much constructive criticism as possible. Stacy says she can remember wanting to have a mother who always said everything she did was great. “But my mother has always been honest,” she says. “If she says something is good, I know it’s really good.”
Independently, the two painters say they feel lucky to have each other, because the life of an artist can be solitary and daunting. “I always say I was born into the right family,” Stacy says. “My mom has supported and encouraged me to be a working artist. When I’ve been struggling, she has believed in me and given me the strength to continue to do what I love.”
Likewise, Jacqueline says it’s wonderful to be able to share her passion for art with her daughter. “When a show comes to the Getty, I have someone who is just as excited as I am,” she says. “It’s always interesting to see what Stacy thinks about art. Painting is a very lonely exercise, so having someone share it—especially someone you love—is very special.”
Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, TX; Chemers Gallery, Tustin, CA; M Gallery, Charleston, SC; www.jkaminfineart.com.
Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, TX; M Gallery, Charleston, SC; Silvana Gallery, Glendale, CA; Aarnum Gallery, Pasadena, CA; www.jkaminfineart.com.
Featured in November 2011.