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Growing up on a ‘dead end’ road in the county; Ohio-native artist, Jennifer Sowders, spent a lot of time studying nature. Fossils hunts in a creek bed... watching the barn swallows dive for insects... lying atop a round hay bale and pondering the fields and sky; all became an inspiration in need of an expressive outlet in which the creative arts fulfilled. In recent years... Jennifer, husband Gary and 3 children have pushed back to those nature loving roots and are working toward self sustainability on their farm in Fostoria, Ohio.
Jennifer credits her interest in art fanned by a high school art teacher who fueled the talent from within... earning her scholarship to the Columbus College of Art and Design where she graduated with a major in illustration and minor in advertising; Cum Laude in 1994. Trips to art museums eventually brought forth an insatiable desire to return to the creative freedom of the fine arts after a career in the printing industry and freelance illustration. In 2003 she began a fine arts discipline and 2 yrs later landed a 4rth place award in a National Competition.
Jennifer works on several different-styled series with vastly differing mediums, techniques and themes because she enjoys many and finds no room for ‘artist’s rut’ in doing so. She emphasizes, “It works to my advantage because I don’t get a chance to ‘get tired’ or stagnate. I am excited every single day for ‘What’s new? In the ‘Hands’ series I have a spiritual theme with drawing, oils and mixed media in earth tones with a reflective, somber feel... In the ‘Freedom’ series it’s either bright watercolor or muted encaustic collage but the unifying theme of birds is unmistakable."
Although some series make use of mixed media, she classically respects traditional mediums and techniques found in oil and watercolors. Working in layers with value studies in oil; keeping highlights pure in watercolors. "Whether carefully designed or plein air, I spend quite a bit of time planning before I ever create. Structure is important to me... I don’t like to frost a ‘messy cake’. ’”