Embrace, acrylic on paper, 15″ x 12″, 2018
One Good Reason, oil, 30″ x 30″, 2018
Paper Doll, oil, 40″ x 30″, 2017
Stars in Her Crown, oil, 40″ x 30″, 2018
Tangent, oil, 20″ x 20″, 2018
Thicket, oil, 40″ x 30″, 2018
Up Against It, acrylic, 20″ x 20″, 2018
Were I But Whole, oil, 28″ x 22″, 2018
I paint to explore the significance of ideas, memories, events, feelings, dreams, and images that seem to demand my closer attention. Some of the themes I investigate come first in poems I write. Literature, folk-tales, and myths often inspire my exploration of the feminine archetype. My figures often bear the scars and imperfections that, to me, characterize the struggle to become.
In my work, I use oils, acrylic, pencil, and thin glazes to create a multi-layered surface that may be scratched through, written, or painted over to reveal and excavate the images I feel are right for the work.
In reclaiming and reconstructing areas of the canvas, the process of painting becomes analogous to having a second chance at life—this time a little closer to the heart’s desire.
About the Artist
Jeanie Tomanek draws upon themes she first developed in her poetry: exploring various feminine archetypes from myths, folk-tales, and her own experiences. The natural world, as she experienced it growing up on a farm in the Genessee Valley region of New York, also strongly influences her work. Trees, flowers, birds, and snow are all symbols for emotional states or story elements. Dogs sometimes accompany the pale, bald “Everywoman” protagonist on her journeys, which often take place beneath a starry moonlit sky. Jeanie Tomanek has been called a mythic artist who tells ancient stories that never grow old.
Self-taught, Jeanie Tomanek has always painted for pleasure. In 2001, age 50, she left the nine-to-five world behind to begin her full-time career as an artist.
“I love to show the strength and optimistic attributes of women. Even when they are in a quandary or in danger, I always try to show a glimmer of hope and wisdom—that they will solve the riddle and make it through, stronger and with dignity. Being bald and shorn of any particular identity, they become all women.”
A published poet, Jeanie Tomanek’s paintings have appeared as cover art for many literary journals and poetry collections. Her painting Thoreau’s Pumpkin was included in the Hudson River Museum’s exhibition “Paintbox Leaves, Autumnal Inspiration from Cole to Wyeth.” Three of her images also were included in “Re-enchantment”, a project produced for the Australian Broadcasting Company that explores the ongoing effect of fairy tales in our daily lives. A profile of Jeanie Tomanek and images of her work appeared in Womankind magazine in June 2018.
Jeanie Tomanek’s work is held in many private and public collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. It is available via her Website; Gallery43 Events, in Atlanta, Georgia; Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, Texas; and Art Alley, Birmingham, Alabama.
“Mythic”, held in March 2018 at Gallery43 Events, Roswell and Marietta, Georgia; and “Resurgence”, presented in August 2018 at Corvidae Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee, are among Jeanie Tomanek’s most recent exhibitions; the former was a solo show. In November 2018, Jeanie Tomanek is the scheduled speaker for the annual fundraiser for Mary and Martha’s Place, an Atlanta organization dedicated to advancing the exploration of theological education, spiritual growth, social justice, and ecological consciousness.
Jeanie Tomanek lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband Dennis and two rescue dogs.