Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Artful Home: Jen Ferguson

The last time we visited New York, we made a date to visit Jen Ferguson's art studio in Brooklyn's Dumbo. Jen is our friend Ted's sister, and we'd long coveted the original pieces that we'd seen hanging in Ted and his wife Ellen's home.

The color saturation and detail work in Jen's paintings is incredible, and we admired her wickedly comic, Goreyesque renderings of people and other assorted beasts. But it was her architectural work that we really fell for. After we moved back to the Bay Area from Brooklyn, we decided that we simply must have some of the Pratt Institute graduate's dark depictions of New York landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Chrysler Building to remind us of our time in that great city.

Original art is pretty much out of our budget at this point in our lives, but that day in Dumbo we picked out a bunch of prints that we treasure. And visiting Jen's studio made a huge impression on our artistic daughter, who was only 7 at the time: As soon as we got home, she started begging us for a big art table on which to set up her many creative projects, and a smooth glass paint palette just like Jen's. She received both, and now her room is more art studio than bedroom.

Whether Laurel eventually becomes a working artist like Jen remains to be seen, but I think the idea of a space of one's own in which to create -- as well as the notion that you can grow up and actually continue making art -- are ideas that will stick with Laurel forever.

Anyway, after visiting Jen's website recently, I was delighted to discover that she's now selling archival prints as well as originals online.

A sampling of Jen's available work:

Brooklyn Bridge Footpath, $15 for an 8-by-11-inch print or $125 for a 13-by-19-inch print

Manhattan Bridge print, $15

Brooklyn Bound print, $125

The Brooklyn Side print, $125

Elephant & Castle print, $65

Dejuner sur L'herbe print, $15

Fiesta print, $12

The Pool watercolor on paper, $425 framed

The Long Bridge watercolor on paper, $425 framed

To see more, visit Jen Ferguson's site and online store. (And if you live in the New York area, stay tuned for details on Jen's next exhibition in November.)

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