I didn’t always paint. I drew.  I studied behavioral neuroscience in college and got my Ph.D. in sociology focusing on Latin American demography.  Though intellectually stimulated, I felt a creative void and longed for passion in my work.  After all of this, I began to paint and never stopped.

Over the last couple of years, my paintings have moved from detailed narratives where a subject is seen in an environment with props that help to tell the story — to more emotionally-based psychological narratives where I present a much more close-up figure in a more stark background — where the details lie in planes of color.   I have chosen to exaggerate my color, in a sense break up a color field into its constituent colors.   I direct the viewer to particular areas by applying juicy bits of heavily saturated color (like cadmium oranges and pinks).  I am driven to capture emotional states more than anything else.  I approach painting more like sculpture, by applying different values and color to create the illusion of relief of the figurative composition.

Though it is a cerebral concept that motivates me, the process of painting is superior to all else.   Once I start a painting, my interaction with the canvas takes on a life of its own; it transcends whatever I can actually say about the painting once it’s finished.   I suppose it is a kind of meditation.  If I remain in this state during the entirety of my painting experience, then I can happily say that my work is honest.


These quirky little paintings are all painted from life. They are thickly painted in oil on primed board and then varnished. They may be purchased online securely using paypal or if you would prefer the old-fashioned way, send me an email. After taking a break to focus on larger works, I just resumed doing these MICROS.  I am now posting them on my blog and on my “Jennifer Balkan Art” Facebook page.  So subscribe to my blog and/or become a fan and you’ll be the first to see when I post new works.  I hope to do a couple per week!!