soul and purpose

"Through my paintings I hope to communicate a personal enthusiasm and respect for the natural world, thus encourage in others an active stewardship of same." -- JEANNE ILLENYE

white peonies in Edwardian silver teapot on antique lace still life oil painting shade of white

Peonies in Edwardian Silver Teapot with Lace
12x12 inches / oil on panel
 
 This painting will be featured in the March issue of "Visual Language" magazine.
 
 


 
 

MLB commission baseball for Bud Selig

click to read article pages 1 & 2 of 4
Feature Article in CFAI's "Where Art Lives" Magazine Pages 84-87
 
"Well Played" by JEANNE ILLENYE

 

With the baseball season currently in full swing, I thought it apropos to share with you a particularly fun painting from a very special client, the Major League Baseball Commission.  It was such an honor when I was the artist chosen to create a corporate retirement gift for long time great, Allan H. "Bud" Selig, MLB Commissioner for 22 years. 

 

I could barely contain my excitement, even though I'd only ever been to a Major League Baseball game a couple of times in New York City at the old Shea Stadium with my husband, a diehard Mets fan, as well as seeing a game at the old park in Cooperstown, New York when I was just a child.  I recalled that it wasn't the first time in recent years that I'd been approached by a corporation regarding my baseball paintings.  Previously, the publisher of famed American journalist and novelist Jim Lehrer included one of my paintings in the cover design of Jim Lehrer's novel, "Oh, Johnny".

 

So the plan was set, contract executed, then the arrival of two official baseballs with Bud Selig's signature.  One was in a classic display cube for posterity and the other which was even more thrilling to me, was well worn from the game.  Imagine, I held in my hand an official baseball that was actually in play...flown across home plate at speeds of 95 mph, cracked against the powerful swing of a bat, and sunk deep into a glove at first base!  Oh, I could almost hear the roaring cheers...and yet there it was before me in my studio, silently resting on my lap in the gentle grasp of one hand, paintbrush in the other.

 

In this quietude I studied my subject...how it felt, the pattern of the stitching, the logos and fonts printed on it, and I thought about the artist who designed the fabulous MLB logo, the hands that stitched that vibrant red thread through softly puckered leather and the unique design of the ball itself.  I began the process of merging the two baseballs together in my mind's eye, utilizing the logos and signature from one and the aged appearance from the other along with the dramatic lighting from a previous painting, which was my client's request.  The main challenge was the fact that since the ball needed to be lifesize at less than three inches, it meant extremely tiny details with logos, laces and Bud Selig's signature.  You’ll see in the image of me holding the ball alongside the framed painting how I deliberately aged the ball.  The title came to me immediately as I painted, which so often is the case.  "Well Played" seemed especially suitable to celebrate Bud Selig's career and immense dedication to this time honored sport as he embarked upon a new chapter.  It would be a treasured retirement gift from the Major League Baseball Commission in recognition of his historic leadership.

 

After my experience, this classical floral painter has now committed to getting back in the game of painting baseballs again!  As we all look forward to Spring, which for most of us means flowers and birdsong, I will also be joining the ranks of dedicated fans by celebrating the game.  To view more of my baseball paintings and read my personal recollections visit jeanneillenye.blogspot.com and keep an eye out for future paintings of nostalgic, time worn baseballs commemorating this beloved sport for all to enjoy! 

 

Eternal Spring large classical still life oil painting

Eternal Spring
30x24 inches oil on canvas
by JEANNE ILLENYE
NFS 
     This was my very first large floral painting which I'd begun in 1996 and completed a few years later after we'd relocated from New Jersey to Michigan and began renovating our house. So...inbetween removing wallpaper in every room, laying carpet, rebuilding and painting walls, doors, laying 8,000 bricks, planting 50 trees, garden renovation, etc. I was also painting this! 
      Some of the delicate details I adore are the cracked terra cotta urn seeping water droplets, bees tucked within blossoms of tender petals, translucent grapes suveyed by a browsing bird, torn leaves, a single broken shaft of wheat, veiny petals of Crown Imperial, and particularly the illuminated Morning Glory with her upturned face, the thick glossy Parrot Tulips capturing a glint of light, and my favorite but most challenging flower to paint, Lilacs with each and every petal articulated. 
      To this date, I still feel this is my best technical work which you'll see in forthcoming pics. Quite a contrast of mood when compared to my new direction as exhibited in "Shades of White" 24x24 oil on canvas, which more accurately depicts my true spirit...yet "Eternal Spring" will always hold an especially sentimental place in my heart.
 
  

orange glow with cherries dramatic peeled orange oil painting contemporary realism

capturing nature's transient beauty
"Orange Glow"
SOLD
 
Inspired by an earlier painting of mine entitled "Orange Burst" which was a more classical composition, "Orange Glow" is definitively more contemporary with the dramatic lighting and square format, yet equally adaptable in a horizontal format.  This spectacularly luminous orange is featured in an overhead spotlight for maximum impact.  The fruit nearly appears to be glowing, hence the title.
 

family portrait of birth times vintage howard fobwatch gilded book still life

 
 

Nest bluebird eggs feathers vintage cigar box oil painting still life

" S t a r t l e d "
18 x 14 inches / oil on canvas
Resting upon an antique Honduras cigar box, an intricate nest of twigs, grass & leaves protects three precious white eggs with pure blue, downy soft feathers fluttering lightly as a startled mother takes flight.
SOLD
 



 

English roses hollyhocks bluebirds raspberries bees blue & white porcelain bowl still life oil painting old world classical

Bountiful Blossoms and Bluebirds
20x16 in. oil on canvas
Ohhh...if only I had taken a photo of this painting after I'd finished it!!!
Those Bluebirds really were exquisite in person and felt as if I could reach into the painting and quietly take hold of one -- almost feeling their wings fluttering in my loosely clasped hand.
Another commissioned painting --Here the client pointed to a number of my other paintings, small and large, and asked for elements from each including blue & white porcelain and pink roses. The bluebirds of happiness were symbolic of their lives together in their new home.

white peonies in crystal vase candy dish lace shades of white 24x24 in.

Shades of White
24x24 inches / oil on canvas
 
"An Enriched Life: It has been said that collecting original works of art is a luxury, but considering that it provides nourishment for one's soul, it is indeed a necessity." --ILLENYE
 
 

Bountiful Table large 30x40 old world classical still life oil painting Bluebirds Sevres porcelain tureen silver fruit peonies flowers

capturing nature's transient beauty
Bountiful Table
30x40 inches / oil on canvas
SOLD
 Commissioning a painting is always exciting and quite personal for both my clients and myself.  Here my client provided me with a few requests along with several photos of her Victorian dining room currently undergoing renovation with elaborately gilded teal wainscoting, deep red oriental rug a touch of rose pink damask, along with wishes for an abundant, classical composition which should include birds, red fruit, pink English roses, hydrangeas, peonies, hollyhocks and her very favorite blue morning glories.  The general composition came to me almost immediately which I laid out in draft form but had to set aside to fulfill prior commissions from an especially hectic schedule.  Once I was able to devote my full attention to this piece it moved along relatively quickly considering its size, as my enthusiasm spurred me forward to complete this delightfully exuberant oil painting!

Faberge Easter Egg Lily of the Valley still life oil painting LITTLE GEMS

Faberge Easter Egg
4x4 inches oil on panel
 
Exquisitely detialed with seed perals and diamonds, the original Faberge Easter egg was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II in 1898 for his beloved wife Tsarina Alexandra.  This sparticular egg was her favorite as it held images of Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Dutchess Olga and Grand Dutchess Tatiana.  It became a hallmark of beauty and technical expertise by the world renowned artisal Carl Faberge, whose work remains unsurpassed to this day.

purple and white pansies in glass jar with crocheted lace 5x5 in. oil painting still life little gems

 capturing nature's transient beauty 
Pansies and Crocheted Lace
5x5 inches / oil on panel
 
I recall as a child, accompanying my mother to the plant nursery where she told me to search for the pansies that had "faces".  So even today I still refer to Pansies as the smiling faces of Spring.  They are a personal favorite to paint not only for this reason, but also for the wonderfully translucent qualities as the light shines through the petals such as shown on the flower on the left.  Note how that deep, rich purple fades on the backside where the creases of the petals shine through.

pansies in basket classical oil painting floral

  Dew Kissed Pansies in a Basket
16x20 inches / oil on canvas
 
Pansies are the most delightful little blossoms typically known for their "smiling faces".  I recall visiting our local farms in NJ as a child where I'd repeatedly presented my mother with clusters of colorful blossoms, begging her to choose my favorites...only to be rejected with the same response every time, "No, they don't have smiling faces in them!"  Then when my mother found just the perfect flat of smiling faces, I understood exactly what she meant.  ;o)
 
 

click image

I was published in Visual Language Magazine

BLESSED

Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing.
Anonymous

names of colors A-Z