Jean Stephenson - Paintings and Fantasy Sculptures
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Jean StephensonMy interests are broad, and my artwork is their reflection. One of my mentors, the late Jae Carmichael, a professor at USC, once told me I resembled a character described by the nonsense writer Stephen Leacock. “He mounted his trusty steed and galloped off madly in all directions.”

Painting, writing, sculpting, photography, acting, railing against destructive behaviors of mankind, and humor. I madly pursue all of these before my light goes out and my voice floats on the wind unheard.

Thus my work ranges from pure joy and awe at the beauty and balance of nature to horror at the state of the earth. And because I was influenced at an early age (and still am) by reading all the humor I could find, many of my pieces contain a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

As a painter I wander joyfully between figurative, abstract, mixed media, and realism modes, and my mediums are watercolor, acrylic and collage.

As a sculptor and writer I have combined life-sized soft sculptured figures with humorous bios. Seventeen of their photos and stories have recently been published in a book entitled “Whimsicans: Modern Day Fairy Tales for all Ages” and can be ordered through Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

I have also created a series of small-fired clay sculptures, mostly depicting fat naked ladies exercising. And recently I have been combining assemblages consisting of rusted metals, clay, and whatever else that seems to fit.

Along the way I have been lucky to have had some spectacular teachers and mentors: Kero Antoyan, Robert Frame, Charles Garabedian, Jae Carmichael, Katharine Chang Liu, writer Philip Lopate, acting coach Barbara Gannen and photographers George Krause and Barbara Larson.

I strongly believe that all forms of art have an important part in the prevention of mankind from turning into robots. Politics aside, the visual arts, music, dance, theater, writing, all have a role in keeping us from blowing up our planet.

I deplore the lack of funding in our public schools, which has cut out so many art and music classes, and urge all who can to volunteer in the schools to help in these areas. Kids need more than computer and other sciences and sports to become successful adults!

A proven sample of their effectiveness is when underprivileged or distressed young people are given the means to uncover their leanings toward one of the many art fields. In a world that previously seemed hopeless to these kids most finally find a place on our society; giving them needed feelings of self-worth, many escaping the bondage of poverty and gangs.

Older people, too, can benefit from the excitement of the discovery of a previously hidden talent. For many years I taught an experimental art class where students 55 and up could be led into experiencing their true natures and not be afraid to try new things. They told me that “Jean’s Thursdays” were the highlight of their week.

I hope by reading these words and looking at my artwork you all have been motivated to visit art galleries and theaters and concerts and related classes and then try one or more of these creative mediums for yourselves. I guarantee your lives will be enriched!