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Jennifer Wolf grew up in Southern California hiking the Santa Ynez and Santa Monica Mountains.  This intimate connection with the landscape led Wolf to explore using the earthen colors she saw around her and to learn the early painting techniques of transforming collected minerals into usable pigments. This led to a progressive innovation past simply reviving old world techniques, as she began to combine these organic minerals with state of the art acrylic mediums. Each color is discovered through extensive exploration of the landscape and collected over many years, their processing and use subsequently recalling the artist’s personal experiences of disparate geographies. Thus the paintings become evidence of this history, each a sort of map recording not only place, but time. The mortar and pestle she employs to grind the rock transforms the laborious process into a meditation, acting as a portal to the artist’s memories as it exposes the pure color. Each strike of the pestle upon the mineral, whether it was collected from France, Peru, Santa Barbara or Santa Monica is a reminder of a specific experience in the natural environment. Thus Wolf’s paintings explore the emotional connection that comes with discovering the land.  Sometimes the experiences are sublime as they recall both the beauty of the land and fear of the unknown.  Stumbling upon a fresh kill at the mouth of a river or losing the trail at the top of a mountain, as the sun is about to set.  The fear of being alone in nature, vulnerable to it’s callousness has filled the artist with an arsenal of emotions to draw from as she approaches her painting practice each day.  The result is a body of work that exhibits both mystery and beauty, inviting the viewer to explore as much the painted evidence of the outer landscape as the inner landscape of the artist herself.

Jennifer Wolf At William Turner Gallery
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