Jennifer Croom’s artwork combines cultural symbols with different colours and vast of materials. The Australian born and Melbourne based artist. She was very successful in the landscape genre, now she is highly recognized in her contemporary portrait painting where she skillfully combined realism skills with abstract elements.
I don’t always know the destination when I start a painting, but the process will be powered by the emerging human image. It makes the act of painting exciting and has enabled me to discover my own emerging style. It is not just showing the likeness of an individual person: I want the work to be a vehicle for expressing an emotion or experience recognisable by the viewer. I want work to have both emotional content and a painterly presence. The paint itself should also draw attention.
I studied tonal realism under Lance McNeill and portraiture with Barbara August. For many years I sold, exhibited, and sometimes won awards, for my landscapes. In 2006 I felt a great longing to explore and find a more expressive way to paint. I tried different media and fell in love with the versatility of good acrylics. I experimented with both abstract and figurative work.
Over time, I merged tonal realism skills with abstract elements such as seemingly random linework and increasingly exuberant colour. Painting faces became my passion. I like to include hints of a narrative, using symbolism and colour in a way that imbues the work with meaning and life. I prefer my paintings to have an element of the unexpected.
My work has been shown in many public exhibitions as well as the Muse Galleries in Milawa and Beechworth, Bakers Gallery Balnarring, Oak Hill Gallery Mornington, Gallery#9 in Collingwood, and Paper Pear in Wagga Wagga NSW. In 2015 I entered the Archibald Prize for the first time with a portrait of my friend and mentor, Carole Foster.
I have held classes on portrait painting at the Bakers Gallery Balnarring. I held workshops on modern portrait painting at the Oak Hill Gallery, Mornington in 2016 and 2017, and the Ryazanoff Gallery in Albert Park in 2017. I have also been an art teacher at aged care facilities.
Above all I enjoy beyond measure, time in the studio bringing the next painting into existence.
While successful in the earlier landscape genre and winning prizes such as the 2003 Streeton Award from the Sherbrooke Art Society, I have also garnered recognition with my current figurative painting.
Dromana Rotary Exhibition Best Oil or Acrylic
Altona Rotary Kiema Press Acquisitive Prize
St Kevin’s College Toorak Best modern Painting
McClelland Guild Biennial Exhibition Dame Elizabeth Murdoch Prize
Bayside Art Show Best Pastel or Acrylic Award
Derinya Art Exhibition Postcards Award
Bayside Art Show Best Work to the value of $600
Oak Hill Gallery Cigar Box Exhibition Best Work