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

Blue Transferware Collection Spode blue tower blue onion china antique crystal poole silver coffee teapot gorham chantilly flatware bluebirds peonies roses tuberoses oil painting custom

 My client requested a number of items be included in her painting:  Spode Blue Tower transferware, whole pecans to remind her of their previous home where they had a pecan tree, her antique crystal bowl, tuberoses (I added both single and double blossoms), Bluebirds and Gorham Chantilly silverware all arranged in an abundant classical composition similar to one I'd done previously which featured a large tureen as the focal point. (Click here and scroll to view all images.) 

sneak peek in progress 48x36 in. Daisy dog portrait / still life French dresser & chair ornate gilt mirror

Take sustenance but not more than you need. We must be responsible stewards of all God's creatures.


 Preview of two page spread excerpted from one of my books in progress.

"Take nourishment from the fruits of the Earth but do not take more than you need, for greed is a dangerous thing.  Rather, value the gifts from Earth's bounty and honor her with a nurturing hand; work her soils with tenderness and keep her air and water pure so that we may continue to reap these vast and perfect rewards.  We must be responsible stewards of all God's creatures, and remember that this delicate balance within which we exist, once disrupted, can immensely impact the fragility of all life.  So take sustenance...but not more than you need...for within our hands lies the future."

welcome home last frosted mini wheat cereal bowl silver spoon

When a painting is a gift, I don't post it immediately then often forget, as was the case with this older painting.  Here is a gift from a gentleman to his wife when they moved into their new home, as a loving reminder of how she'd always steal that last mini-wheat for breakfast! 

maritime rose teacup bowl of blueberries cake bread little gems oil painting

Here's another painting I'd forgotten to post. I'm sure there are SO many I've forgotten so please let me know if yours isn't here!

Christmas Card 2019

A special thanks to all my wonderfully patient clients while I catch up on the numerous large
 commissions currently underway! Your faith in me is much appreciated! 
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and all the joys of the season!

Christmas Card 2019

classical floral still life with bluebirds roses hollyhocks spode porcelain bowl

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 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 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 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
     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"
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.


click image

I was published in Visual Language Magazine


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

names of colors A-Z