In-Studio with Jennifer L. Mohr- Starting the year with learning, curiosity, and play.
When you can’t visit the studio in person, a virtual studio tour is a great way to explore studios across the globe. It is always fun to know new Artists and their studios. You can enjoy their creative processes, and how they decorate their space and have a chit-chat session as they work along. In this studio visit, let us explore Jennifer L Mohr’s studio space, how she has decorated her studio, her plans to start the new year regarding her creative process, how she has evolved over the years as an artist, and how she overcomes her creative blocks, and much more.
Jennifer L Mohr is an acrylic painter in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada. Jennifer’s landscape paintings of wild, weedy, naturalistic meadows are influenced by the Canadian Prairie she calls home. Expressive marks and color layered in Jennifer’s maximalist style invite the viewer to linger in their own moment of connection with the land. Jennifer holds a B.F.A. in painting from the University of Saskatchewan and her paintings have been acquired by collectors across Canada, the United States, and beyond.
1. How are you setting up your studio for the New Year?
I’m looking forward to diving into some art classes that I have registered for in the new year. I will be setting up an area of my studio to work on assignments in sketchbooks for both a color mixing class and a sketchbook practice class. I’ll also be moving a sofa out of my studio space very soon, which will make more space for a permanent shipping station. I’m looking forward to not having to move my painting supplies out of the way every time I have to package and ship a painting or print!
2. What is one ritual or thing that you do at the beginning of the New Year in your studio?
I have begun to offer my subscribers access to archived paintings every January in my Annual Studio Archive Sale. It can be a bit of work preparing for the archive sale, but it gives collectors a chance to scoop up older paintings that were created back when my prices were lower and take advantage of free shipping. This also helps me to clear out a little extra space for new paintings to come.
3. Jennifer, looking at last year, what artwork are you most proud of?
I started painting on large paper in 2023, and those are the paintings that I am most proud of. I’ve always loved painting on paper since I was a student, but I usually put it aside in favor of substrates that are more appealing to collectors. I was reminded that one of the most wonderful things about painting on paper is that I feel less pressure to create something perfect and saleable. Paper is cheap and plentiful, so I am more willing to take chances and am less inclined to overwork the painting. As a result, I can be more prolific and I enjoy the looser, more expressive finished pieces. Work on paper is also easy to store and scan, so my most popular prints this year were original works on paper.
4. What does a typical day in the studio look like for you?
Studio days, ideally, have a balance of business and creative work. I don’t really like to paint for longer than 3 or 4 hours in a day. Any more than that and I get too tired and less intentional with the work. My perfect day would start with a slow coffee and breakfast, followed by a walk with my dog, and a morning taking care of business tasks. I would then spend the afternoon painting and finish the day with a nice family meal.
5. Could you share the studio spaces you work from? Is it your kitchen table or a fancy studio? How has your creative process evolved?
My studio was once an open-concept family space. Years ago it functioned as my kid’s playroom. I first began painting there when they were still small. I added a small desk and lamp to one corner of the room. Slowly, my painting supplies took over the space, and since my kids were also getting older and not playing with toys anymore, the logical progression was for me to take over the space completely. It is still an open-concept space, and my kids come and go as they please, but mostly just to visit me and see what I’m up to instead of playing with LEGO!
6. How are you setting up the tone for your studio practice this new year?
I plan to focus on nurturing my creative evolution this year. In the past, I have allowed the business side of things to influence my creative choices in a way that has yet to enrich my artistic practice. By starting the year with learning, curiosity, and play, I plan to make the art my main focus and let the business decisions come second.
7. A favorite book you like to read, Jennifer?
I have found more and more lately that I really appreciate an easy-going, cozy mystery! It’s like taking a mini vacation every time I pick up a book. I think it’s important to give my brain a break, and with my art business getting more and more demanding of my time and attention, I appreciate these kinds of ‘mini holidays’ even more. One author I’ve been enjoying lately is Richard Osman.
8. Can we get a glimpse of your current artwork on your table?
I have a few different paintings on paper on the go. I also have a handful of small panels waiting to be prepped and painted for a group show in April. To be honest, though, this week has been all business work, wrapping up 2023 and planning for the year to come.
9. How do you take your studio practice beyond your studio?
I have always wanted to be a plein air painter, but every time I try, it feels forced and uncomfortable! I think at this point, the way I take my studio practice beyond my studio is to share what I’m doing with the world on social media. It really is a privilege to be able to access such a wide audience and engage in conversation with so many different people across the globe.
10. Jennifer, how would you describe the year 2023 for your studio practice?
2023 was challenging! My spouse was working on a practicum for her Master’s Degree, so a lot of the domestic management fell to me, which meant that we both felt like we were working ALL THE TIME. At the same time, it was a lean year for the arts and sales didn’t come easy. I ended up leaping into the creation of my own print shop halfway through the year in an attempt to generate some income to support my art practice. I’m glad I did because the print shop has been a success and I managed to come out the other side of 2023 with my art practice and business intact!
11. How do you overcome a creative block and let the creative juices flow?
Creative blocks for me are usually either exhaustion or lack of inspiration. Sometimes I just need a break from painting and that’s okay. Other times I need time to play and experiment and stop caring so much about the outcome. Usually, that is when exciting “accidents” happen, which are the inspiration I need to keep painting.
12. The first piece of art you made while working here in this studio.
Oh gosh – who knows? It was probably a pet portrait. I have a fine art degree, but stopped painting for about 15 years. When I started painting again in this studio space, I knew I wanted to paint but didn’t know what, so I made gifts for people. Everyone loves a pet portrait.
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