Featherweight Champ, graphite, pastel, white conte, 8″ x 9″, 2021
Olympian, graphite and white conte, 6″ x 7″, 2021
The Crystal Gazer, pastel, 16″ w by 18″ h, 2020
Grey Route Messaging, pastel, 9″ x 14″, 2020
Too Many Sorrows*, pastel, 10″ x 13″, 2020
All My Treasure, pastel, 13″ w x 17″ h, 2019
Breathing Dreams Like Air, pastel, 8″ x 9.5″, 2019
XIII, pastel, 12″ x 23″, 2019
Nearly There, pastel, 16″ w x 15″ h, 2019
Sense of Place, pastel, 13″ x 16.5″, 2019
* “Dedicated to the Millions Grieving Around the World in 2020”
An early instructor told me that my drawing skills were good but that I wasn’t “seeing.” It took me a long time to understand her meaning.
Observing people in their environments and translating their image is a skill developed over a lifetime. I understand how people interact with others and with their surroundings — for example, how a warm, sunny place will make a person sit happily for a while — and how to distill the scene into its nuanced component shapes, colors, values, and gestures. I have learned that truly “seeing” is not a literal act; to “see” is multi-sensory. Even though I can faithfully, even beautifully, render a subject, I do not consider a painting complete until I can “touch” the skin of my subject, until I can “smell” the air around her, when I can “hear” what is going on in the scene — and when my audience can do the same. I strive to see the scene so that every individual viewing my artwork can feel the subject’s emotion as if it were his own.
Over a lifetime of studying and working, I have come to grasp the difference between rendering and understanding, between depicting and communicating. Art is not just pigment on a surface; it is not just a matter of faithfully or expressively rendering shapes and shadows. Creating art requires an understanding of who people are, both their seen and unseen parts. Ultimately, I — and I hope every viewer perceives this as well — “define” my work as art when it allows that understanding to pour through each painting into the individual’s soul. My 2020 painting “The Crystal Gazer” [see image above] exemplifies the principle that guides my work: to present a moment of a living, breathing person’s life while leaving exact interpretation to the viewer to “feel” and make his own.
About the Artist
Jodie Kain has studied classical atelier methods of drawing, as well as modern expressionism, over many years. Enrolled, at age 16, in Robert Beverly Hale’s anatomy class at the Art Students League of New York, she made her training there the basis of her artistic approach, which emphasizes strict anatomical modeling, melding form built with an underlying structure as well as light. Building on this academic tradition, Jodie Kain later studied under photorealist Rob Neffson at Penn State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art. Subsequently, presented with an opportunity to live in London, England, she attended The Heatherley School of Fine Art, supplementing her education there with classes at several artists’ studios. Following her return, she settled in Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career over 30 years as an analyst in high-end graphics systems and Web-based software, and thereafter set up a studio and transitioned to painting full-time. To prepare for that change, she returned to her roots by enrolling in a local atelier. The Bargue & Cast curriculum at the Academy of Realist Art, in Boston, refreshed her passion for realist painting.
A native New Yorker who now works full-time in her studio in the South End of Boston, Jodie Kain focuses on the quiet, reflective moments in life. Her paintings, set within a rhythmic world, vibrate with emotion. In addition to figurative painting in her Boston studio, her seasonal work in mid-coast Maine allows her to explore plein air techniques and study natural subjects from life.
Jodie Kain works exclusively in pastels, as these provide a tactile experience that deepens her connection to her subjects. Pastels are a high-quality medium that uses the same pigments as oil paints; in fact, pastels basically are oil paints without the oil. The majority of pastels are blended from minerals, which provide a lasting brilliance and ensure a painting’s longevity.
Jodie Kain has attained Signature Membership in both The American Artists Professional League and American Women Artists. Her award-winning work has been shown in many national exhibits, among them, The Guild of Boston Artists, Arnot Art Museum, Steamboat Art Museum, The Butler Institute of American Art, the 91st and 92nd Grand National Exhibitions at Salmagundi Club, and the 14th and 15th International ARC Salons. Most recently, Jodie Kain’s art has been on view in “and the boat made three”, Boothbay Region Art Foundation’s ARTinME, October 15, 2021 – November 13, 2021, Boothbay Harbor, Maine; “All My Treasure”, Arlington Center for the Arts, October 21, 2021 – January 14, 2022, Arlington, Massachusetts; and “Nearly There”, 93rd Grand National Exhibition, November 8-9, 2021, Salmagundi Club, New York City.
In 2021, Jodie Kain served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors of the American Artists Professional League.