• Laurel Contributor

An Artful Transformation

by Donna Rhodes

You may know Jeanie Jones, studio owner, sculptor, mural artist, and painter as Jeanie Edwards, Easely an Artist.

She recently married Bryan Jones, a South Carolinian who works in Columbia and joins Jeanie on weekends. She happily shares Bryan’s name, and her business is still the same delightful Highlands art experience you’ve grown to love.

If you visit Jeanie’s Easley An Artist Gallery web page or her studio, Gallery Upstairs at 221 North Fourth Street in Highlands, it’s clear how effortless she makes painting look. Her lively colors, engaging animal icons, and simple, enchanting images capture imagination, welcoming students of all levels to the Easely style.

Passionate about nature, Jeanie wanted to make a statement about sharing space with bears on this issue’s cover. While it’s tempting to feed a mama bear and tag-along cub, to do so is wrong in a dozen ways. Jeanie loves that a painting can deliver that message a thousand times better than words.

While Jeanie enjoys teaching her established style, her personal work is evolving. When she labored through a divorce, she carried a lot of anger.

With help, she found a way to express that, and it was hugely cathartic. She began drawing faces, emphasizing the emotion harbored within.

She says, “I did a self-portrait, colors dark and scary. The process was loose, paint scraped across the surface with credit cards, then splattered. My hair was blue. My face was black, white, and red. I incorporated a bright green, symbolizing envy for those living a normal happy life. After I painted it, I felt like the weight had been lifted. I transformed bad feelings into something beautiful.”

Inquire about lessons at Jeanie’s downstairs teaching studio. Her work’s displayed along with that of local artist upstairs in The old Schmitt Building. She also shows at The Cake Bar, Highlands Wine Shop, Highlands Fine Art and Estate Jewelry and Tug’s Proper.

Attend the Laurel opening Friday, September 6, 5:30 to 8:00 P.M.. at Studio 106 (828) 787-2121. Jeanie welcomes commissions, her specialty, pet portraiture. At Christmas she offers hand-painted pet ornaments. Contact her at info@easelyanartist, call (828) 526-2933; visit easleyanartist.com; or follow her on Facebook.

The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

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