BA Visual Art
Jeanette Hughes is a retired nurse embracing a second career in art to cope with an incurable disease and prevent it from consuming her life. She utilizes painting and photography as outlets to express the frustration, pain and other feelings (including even happiness) associated with experiencing constant pain and the tragic loss of some life skills. She takes on this pain, channels it through her artworks and turns it into an expression of joy.
Her community mural in response to the COVID-19 emergency, “We Are in This Together” can be seen at the Route 66 Art Park, in downtown Miami, Oklahoma and showcases how throughout both her former and current careers, her focus has consistently been on health, wellness and healing.
Conveying Memory and Emotion Through Abstraction
Art is the outlet from the stress in my world and a break from the reality of life’s seriousness. Being able to express myself in a safe and comfortable manner has aided in maintaining my sanity. Having the ability to explore my creativity and pushing boundaries has helped me grow as an artist as well as a person. Without this ability to actualize an idea or concept, art would not exist. I am constantly searching for the best way to interpret an idea and how to translate it into my work.
It is my desire for you to look at my work and feel some sort of emotion, whatever that may be. Art should evoke a response in the viewer; happiness, sorrow; anger, or maybe peace; as long as there is a reaction, then I have accomplished my mission.
Artistically, abstraction is important because it has freed artists from objective reality and allowed them to do two things: experiment with form and give freer rein to their imaginative selves. Abstraction could have been a container constrained within academic rules of some sort.
For a long while, many in the art world, especially the naysayers who judged us, seemed to believe that abstraction, and nonobjective art were the grand and inevitable evolution of painting – and that all other forms, particularly the traditional ones, would just quietly fade away. Today the new forms of abstraction have lost their formerly lustrous crown as the “Head of the heap”, but have gained a fresh role as one of many significant aspects of contemporary art.
Painting and photography have become an outlet from all the stress in the world around me and a way for me to deal with my disease on a daily basis. It gives me a safe and comfortable environment to express myself and my feelings.
It is challenging to approach painting with pure creative freedom and pure abandonment. I tend to still hold fast to the old constraints and rules. I find myself still struggling to let go and paint with complete abandonment as my heart desires.
These pieces are my attempts at total abandonment and just feeling what I paint instead of thinking what everyone expects me to do. My hope is that it evokes that and emotion for those who view it. It has been a very therapeutic and growing journey for me.