Answers from Jhana Bowen.
“I am humbled and honored to share my art with the world”- J.Bowen; Australian Artist and facilitator.
Seeing and sensing a different meaning of the world or creating their own explanation of the world; what drives a human being to stretch a canvas, take a brush and spend countless hours painting for others?
And as for us, we who might glimpse for a moment with no intention to stop and look just a little longer in case there is something special there. We are often quick to judge, “Nah, don’t like it…It’s rubbish”, as we happily bounce forward from one painting to another. Possibly, we may later proudly brag to another that we attended a particular exhibition or Art Gallery just to ensure we will not be labeled as “uncultured”.
Maybe, this is not the case for you and you are quite different, but many are exactly as I have just described. So, for those who are here just to glimpse and judge, “Thank you, you may bounce to the next page; no hard feelings!” For those who want to find more, “You are so welcome to stay and dwell upon the mind and the soul of Jhana Bowen”.
Believe it or not Jhana and I have never met face to face but we ‘met’ on Facebook with our ‘real’ faces right there, thanks to the Internet and accepted social formula: Jhana +Elena = Friends.
We communicate electronically and yet we have found a real personal connection. We are on a similar quest to reach the minds and souls of others; Jhana with his meaningful paintings, and I with my words.
However, today we are exchanging our ‘tools’ and we will interact with you in the process. I will ‘show’ you my favorite paintings from his collection and I will name them the way I see them, and I will describe them the way I feel about them. Jhana Bowen will open up his soul and mind with his own words when he answers my questions for you.
E.Ornig – I cannot stop looking at his work with a clear name in my mind. I would personally name it “The Goddess”. As a concept, she is sexy but subtle, submissive yet mighty, so feminine yet strong.
From full of life (green) to cold and lifeless (blue), she covers an emotional range of known and uneasy feelings. Her captivating classical form of appealing beauty touches my heart with pride as a woman, mother and wife. This is one of the best pieces I have seen.
Who or what inspired you to paint? How did you discover your talent for art? What motivates you? What do you enjoy about art?
“At around the age of 10 I watched my mother paint. I was entirely captivated. I remember her saying that it wasn’t her painting, but that a higher force was painting the incredible images I saw her create. As early as then I felt, that the same magic lives in me.
I spent my early childhood in a Tibetan school in the Indian Himalayas. The principal there was the Dalai Lama’s sister. I was the only western child amongst perhaps a thousand Tibetan children. Most of them were orphaned children whose parents were still in Tibet or died on the way over. The Tibetan culture, spirituality and language influenced me a lot. This influence is in my artwork which I am exploring.”
What or who do you think has the most important influence on your art?
“I believe we are all born creative. Yet in adulthood I feel it takes greater courage to actively sustain our creativity. It is something I find incredibly rewarding.
The most important influence on my work is Spirit/God. That eternal force- that moves through every single one of us. Other than that I find artists such as Byron Tik, Alex Grey, Hannay Massey, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and Van Gogh to inspire my work.
What is more important in your work; content or technique? What technique do you use? Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed? Do you prefer a perfect smooth technique or a more energetic expressive technique or have you developed your own technique?
“My art practise mainly involves creating a partially sculptural or 3D effect with my paint. I scratch away at the surface with a palette knife to reveal the layers of paint underneath.
I experience tremendous rush of energy when I work in this way. It is a source of great joy for me.”
How important is the subject matter to your artwork?
“Subject matter plays a secondary role to the vibration of my artwork.
My aim is to be present in each moment I am painting. I have noticed that since I have been working in this way the nature of my work has totally transformed!”
E.Ornig – I am taking the liberty to tell you what I feel and what I see in this painting ” Evolution”. I feel spiritual freedom, embodied by a winged creature, escaping from a cage of physical reality. The escaped form is projecting a choice, an independence and free will. I would personally call it “Freedom”.
Do you work certain hours each day or only when you are inspired to work? Where do you do your work (home, studio)? Do you work from life, or from photographs or from imagination? What moves you most in life, either to inspire or upset you?
“I work in a studio close to my home, often. Primarily my inspiration keeps me painting most days. I feel incredibly blessed to live this way. I paint and draw with students three days a week at the moment. So, this keeps me in the studio regularly. All the better!
In my recent paintings I have been painting from visions, dreams, nude models and scripts of the Tibetan national anthem, all fused together in my creative process.
In my life I am moved most by people. People who genuinely care. Everyday there is someone who makes a difference, even if it is as simple as the guy who makes a cup of coffee, but does it with love! That really inspires me.”
E. Ornig- ” Mystic Woman” by Jhana Bowen to me represents “Beginning”. When I look at this painting I feel I have found a perfect starting point for beginning to think, to imagine, to create, to let my mind dwell on abstract ideas, to dig inside and reflect on my past, to reason and to be totally unreasonable. The more I look the more I am hypnotized; I experience the fascinating feeling of the possibility to get in and maybe never get out. It does not frighten me, quite the opposite – it gives me real peace of mind.
Do any of your paintings have a deeper meaning? Who are the people, subjects or abstract ideas captured on your paintings? How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas? Do you express different feelings when painting or do you just paint for the sake of painting?
“I like that everyone has their own experience of a painting. Though, I’ve regularly heard that my paintings have an uplifting effect. This is also true with crop circles. Crop circles and uplifting art, I discovered, actually boost the immune system. They are also similar in that you don’t need to logically understand them to benefit from them.
I paint to explore the elements that give life meaning. What is it that makes life worth living? How best I can express my inspiration? What is it that we need to make peace with? My paintings are an exploration of these things.
The people, subjects and ideas are parts of these questions.
With regard to painting and emotion; no matter what I’m feeling in response to my life, I continue to do what I love – paint. As a result, something is born that is beyond my emotions. This is the most empowering experience for me.
I paint because it’s the greatest gift I have, both to receive and to share.”
Where do you see art is going? What is the role of the artist in society from your point of view? Where and how do you see the place of your work in society as artist and as human being?
“Art moves beyond the logical mind. Images are worth a thousand pictures. Creativity is where genius is born. I’ve heard that the heart and gut (instinct) are 300 times stronger than the brain. So, art by-passes the brain and frees us with our imagination. It shows us where society is going.
I feel the role of artists in society is to remind us what life is really about. Artists in society depict how and who we are. They show us who we can be, both negative and positive, and what we do that makes a difference to the lives of others and to ourselves.
I am humbled and honored to share my art with the world. People tell me that they are inspired and touched by the nature of my work. To me it affirms that people are exploring why they are really here. That we can trust again in the goodness of humanity.
I feel that my place in society as an artist and as a human being is of significance and value.”
E.Ornig-“Diversity” is my name for Jhana’s painting ” Community”. I see perfect harmony in the rainbow colour scheme and multiple individual dots that intricately bind in more complicated but liberated forms. I see a desirable state of our world when diversity is praised and all differences accepted. Every dot (an individual), every line (an individual belief) and every stroke of the brush (an individual interest) are united. I feel hope for the peaceful future and I feel happy!
What are your long-term career goals?
“My long term career goals are to keep doing what I love! To share that magic with the world through continued art exhibitions, facilitating art workshops, speaking publicly on art, creating a thriving art community and produce a groundbreaking creativity boardgame.”
Where do you usually exhibit your work? Any up and coming exhibitions you would like to tell us about and if yes, what is so special about these exhibitions?
“My works are in private collections in America and Australia. I have exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and held a solo exhibition in Brisbane. Currently my works hang in numerous stores, cafes and galleries across the Tweed Coast and Hinterland.
I am currently working toward a solo exhibition opening on the 3rd of June at Babalou in Kingscliff.
At the exhibition, I am giving away a painting as a lucky door-prize. There will also be exceptional live music to compliment the artwork and venue. There will also be a beautiful dancer or two moving through the crowd”
Where people can find more information about you and your art? Do you have website or pages on social networks? How people can contact you?
Email me at email@example.com
Jhana Bowen and Elena Ornig