Artists to Watch | Jenny Buckner

Guided by faith

Jenny Buckner, Shades of White, oil, 36 x 48.

Jenny Buckner, Shades of White, oil, 36 x 48.

This story was featured in the November 2020 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2020 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

AS A FORMER photographer, artist Jenny Buckner has both a discerning eye and a sixth sense for scenes with strong design. At plein-air events, while other artists employ viewfinders to zero in on their compositions, Buckner uses her smartphone’s camera to do the job. “You see all the largest shapes—the dark ones and the light ones—in that small frame,” she says. This trick also works well back at her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you’re more likely to find the North Carolina native painting in her studio than outdoors. “I prefer no bugs and lots of loud music,” she chuckles.

Although Buckner works in a variety of genres, she’s partial to animals and flowers. As a girl, she considered becoming a veterinarian or a floriculturist, eventually earning her degree in horticulture. Today she’s able to realize both passions as a painter, routinely turning to her own pets and flowers for inspiration. Recently the artist’s interest in animals also led her to portray four gray wolves together on one canvas. Normally a “fast painter,” Buckner spent a week completing the 30-by-60-inch oil painting, entitled WOLF PACK. “I really wanted to focus on each wolf; each one is like a person or a snowflake,” she says. Portraits can be challenging for the same reason, adds the artist. “You’re trying to bring something to life on your canvas that breathes and draws you in.”

Next fall, Buckner is slated to teach a painting workshop at a wolf conservation and research facility in Indiana. These days, she has been busy teaching painting classes in Waynesville, NC, at her namesake fine-art gallery, which opened last November. Buckner herself has studied with respected artists like Dan Gerhartz and Quang Ho, honing her own impressionistic style with a focus on loose brushwork and “lots of color.” Her work has earned multiple accolades along the way, including a purchase award in the American Impressionist Society’s Small Works Showcase last year.

It was Buckner’s spiritual faith that pointed her toward a path in fine art during a difficult time in her life 22 years ago, and it’s her faith that drives her work as an artist today, she notes. “I pray before every painting and every workshop,” she says. “That always keeps me grounded and makes me appreciative of all that’s around me and what I’ve been given.” —Kim Agricola

representation
Buckner Gallery, Waynesville, NC; www.paintingsbyjenny.com.

This story was featured in the November 2020 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2020 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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