I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have always been passionate about art, some of my earliest memories are of me drawing hundreds of tiny shoes on lined paper. Although I never became a shoe designer, I never lost the passion to draw and paint.
I was accepted to attend the Johannesburg Art, Ballet, Drama and Music school (now called the National School of the Arts) and went on to study fine art at Technikon Pretoria, now known as Tshwane University of Technology, majoring in Painting.
That was when my life took an unexpected turn. An opportunity arose when I was offered an apprenticeship in Jewellery manufacturing, which I jumped at, and then went on to open a jewellery business together with my husband, Nat, which we ran for about 12 years, making custom designed jewellery. I had a bit of success with designing jewellery, and won 10 awards in Jewellery design, including prestigious awards from de Beers and Anglogold. A proud moment was when I was commissioned by de Beers to manufacture their Forevermark showpiece, a huge neckpiece consisting of multiple strelitzias in 18ct gold, with a 6 carat white centre diamond.
I continued to paint in between my jewellery pursuits, and in 2008, I moved with my family, to Dunsborough, and then not long after, to Kununurra, Western Australia, where I worked full time as manager of a jewellery store, while painting in my spare time. Making the move to Kununurra was a turning point for me, I finally created my own style of painting which turned out to be very popular. In 2016, the demand for my paintings grew and grew, so I couldn't cope with 2 careers anymore, so I made the somewhat terrifying decision to become a full-time artist.
My favourite subjects include the Kimberley region of Western Australia, boab trees and flowers, cattle, people and wildlife.
My paintings are on permanent display at Artopia Gallery, Kununurra and at Black Stump Gallery in Broome.
I also teach watercolour and acrylic classes at my home studio, and take bookings for teaching art at private functions.
The Kimberley region continues to inspire me, it's breathtaking beauty has taken me on a magical journey of inspiration and creativity. My work is in collections in the UK, USA, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, China, across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Hopefully I can add lots to this list in the future.
Thanks for your interest in me and what I do!
2009 - Solo Exhibition at Lovell Gallery Kununurra WA
2014 - Solo Exhibition at Artopia Gallery Kununurra WA
2015 - Joint exhibition with Jan Parish - Artopia Gallery Kununurra WA
2017 - Solo Exhibition at Artopia Gallery Kununurra WA
2017/18 Solo Exhibition at Wills Domain Yallingup, WA
© Copyright Jeanne Barnes Artist. All rights reserved.