Sushobha Jenner Arts: Narrative Art Through my Paintings
Updated: May 1
When I sketch an idea for a painting, simple stories unfold before my eyes. The stories told by my paintings are easily understood by most viewers, primarily because it portrays real people and their day to day events. My favorite themes to paint are joyful dance expressions, musicians in action or emotions portrayed by children. Here are few of my original paintings -
The common definition of narrative painting is it tells a story.
I read the perfect definition of narrative painting / art at study.com website which said, when considering whether or not something is narrative, ask yourself this question, ‘What’s going to happen next?’ Does the image hint at a sequence of events?
It’s my passion to paint real life scenes which depict an emotional connection between people or objects and their environment. It has taken me more hours to think and come up with an idea for a painting than to finish the painting itself. Once an idea has been visualized and sketched onto paper, a lot of thought is given to position the people or objects to portray the right emotion. I have now begun to sketch using Clip Studio Paint. This has definitely increased my speed from thought to painting with the perfect colors digitally first, then onto canvas. I will write more about this on my next Blog about Digital Art!
As a mural artist, sometimes your client narrates a story for a mural and then you come up with an idea for a painting. When I first began my mural studio, I got a call from a reverend of a church in New Canaan, CT. She wanted me to paint the Seven days of creation story from the Bible on a 9 feet X 18 feet canvas. Not one, but two paintings of the same size with the same theme! This was for the two bible study classrooms for young children at the church. When I began to design it, internet didn’t help much, as I could not find other artworks based on this theme. In one art book, I read that a unicorn depicted God, also keeping in mind my audience will be little children, I sketched two ideas with many animals popping out of the ocean, birds flying in the sky, vegetation etc. The reverend at the church liked my design but did not want a unicorn. She said no mystical magical characters!
Here is how Genesis describes the seven days of creation:
In the beginning - God started creation
the first day - light was created
the second day - the sky was created
the third day - dry land, seas, plants and trees were created
the fourth day - the Sun, Moon and stars were created
the fifth day - creatures that live in the sea and creatures that fly was created
the sixth day - animals that live on the land and finally humans, made in the image of God were created
by day seven - God finished his work of creation and rested, making the seventh day a special holy day.
I read and reread the above lines in order to capture it all on one canvas.
Here are my two large size paintings, 9 feet X 18 feet each, on canvas rolls.
Genesis: Seven Days of Creation I
Genesis: Seven Days of Creation II
Seven days of creation, which depicts sequence of events was a unique narrative art experience which definitely gave me the confidence to come up with ideas easily and deliver paintings based on client's themes.