Jennifer Young, Ashland, Virginia

Jennifer Young, plein air artist

Jennifer Young has been a working artist for over 20 years. Now based out of Ashland, Virginia, she received her formal training in painting and art history and graduated with honors in 1994 from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. During college and after graduation, her focus was largely centered on large expressionist studio paintings exploring the human figure. Her early figurative paintings garnered gallery and museum shows in United States, including venues such as the Hofstra Museum and Purdue University.

But fate and life would intervene to profoundly affect her art. As Young explains in her own words, "When my father died from pancreatic cancer, I went through a great deal of introspection. Gradually I turned from painting large psychological figurative works to exploring a different kind of painting tradition--the landscape. I found myself wanting to create in a way that was personally more life affirming.  One summer my husband surprised me with a wonderful birthday gift--a portable French easel. The act of getting out of the studio to paint directly from nature was initially a way for me to lift my own spirits. But it soon became a serious pursuit and changed my work, and indeed my life."

Working out in nature challenges Jennifer to have a deeper understanding of the interplay of light, color, and atmosphere distilled in the present moment. Jennifer's love of travel dovetails nicely with her love of landscape painting. She enjoys participating at plein air events, festivals, and paint-outs, and finds great inspiration from exploring new environments and working alongside other artists in the field. She has studied with living masters of the plein air tradition such as Kevin Macpherson, Kenn Backhaus, Matt Smith, and Peggi Kroll-Roberts, among others. Jennifer's work has been exhibited nationally in both art festivals and commercial galleries and has been collected internationally in both private and corporate art collections.