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Malta Jazz Festival 2005

Capturing the mood of the 2005 Malta Jazz Festival with this highly collectable art.

I was trained as an illustrator, which honed my drawing skills to a very high degree, and I delight in being able to draw easily and accurately. But I have found that realistic drawing can only go so far when trying to express emotion, or a reaction to stimuli. Drawing with paint, and letting go of any judgement or expectation, I have learned to let the subject express itself through me. Jazz music, with its pure abstract qualities, is the perfect subject for expressive painting.

The Malta Jazz Festival is held every year in July, down below the impressive bastions of Valletta on the edge of the Grand Harbour. The weather always balmy, the atmosphere wonderful, bands coming from all over the world. The lights, the sounds; who would not be inspired? Every year since 1995 I've set up my easel and splashed paint around as I dance to the rhythm and lose myself in the act of making sound visible. Light and sound are only different levels of vibration, after all...

Over three nights I create up to 50 paintings; some work, many don't. Some need a little definition, some need nothing - many are discarded. They always surprise me though, as the colours are impossible to judge in the half-light.

Click on images for larger view (open in new window).

They all have a strong vibrancy about them though, and I feel as if it was not really me that painted them but some other force that could not be stilled. It takes me a week to recover!

Born in England, Jeni studied at Uxbridge, Hull and Harrow Art Colleges before settling in Malta in 1977. She subsequently worked as a graphic designer and followed a post-Diploma course at the Malta College of Art. Jeni has held regular solo exhibitions of her works and participated in numerous joint, group and collective exhibitions in Malta and abroad, representing Malta in the United Kingdom, United States, Sardinia, Tunisia and Norway. Her paintings now hang in many public and private collections.

Jeni's works cover a wide variety of subjects and media, from landscapes to animals, sand to ceramics, watercolour and acrylics to wooden sculptures. They are always based on good drawing and keen observation, always started either on location or from live models. Her intense study of the human figure has resulted in her ability to capture fleeting glimpses of people in motion. Visually expressing the emotional effects of music on the senses, her 'musician' paintings are a popular subject.

The Prehistoric Temples of Malta have been the source of inspiration for many of Jeni's paintings and sculptures, resulting in several exhibitions. In September 2003 her "Remembering Mother Earth" exhibition held at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta won great acclaim.

Jeni has been teaching drawing and watercolour techniques to adults since 1995, running regular six-week courses. She now tutors for Malta Art painting holidays, bringing artists of all abilities - from complete beginners to advanced - to paint in Malta.

Jeni's website »

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