“My mother took me to art museums when I was younger, and I took a figure drawing class in college and LOVED it! Then, I discovered Jeanne Carbonetti in Chester, Vermont and studied with her and I was hooked,” says artist Jeannie Lindheim of her first flirtations with art. Those moments of inquiry have transformed into a solid passion for Lindheim, who has had over 50 works of art placed in social service agencies through The Art Connection.
A few of these agencies include Whittier Street Health Center, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc., Project Citizenship, and Project Hope.
“It’s hard to highlight one [placement] but, I am beyond thrilled when my work gets selected and people can enjoy the watercolors,” says Jeannie. The feeling seems to be mutual for the recipient agencies. Lindheim’s recent donations to Project Hope were so admired that they became a source of inspiration for an art workshop at their site led by Program Manager Chanel Thervil. Many of the first time painters present loved the movement in Lindheim’s gestures. The abstraction of the figures set the tone for exploring the theme of storytelling through symbols. Participants were encouraged to think on their feet by creating symbols that could represent moments in their own lives as they made their own paintings.
“Painting for me is an improvisation. I don’t have an idea when I start a painting, which I love and work organically, just seeing what the paint does, and I go from there,” says Lindheim. This spirit of improvisation doesn’t stop there. In addition to her talent as an artist, Jeannie founded the Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe, a non-profit that brings joy to hospitalized children. “Being a hospital clown is very much like painting. I never know what I will do when I enter a child’s room, and when I start painting, it’s a surprise what I see on the paper.”
Before the artistry comes the inspiration. Lindheim attributes Chagall, Monet and other impressionists with the title of artists she looks up to because of the dreamy, soft, and magical qualities of their paintings. You can see these same qualities depicted in the abstraction and nature scenes in Lindheim’s work.
But, just because her paintings live in the realm of abstraction, doesn’t mean she’s not clear about the real value of her work. “Art isn’t just found in museums, of course, it’s everywhere, in the shapes of nature, in a store window, in people walking down the street or standing in a shop. It’s composition, design, color, texture, shapes and it’s sensual and magical,” Jeannie declares. “Creativity and art are the center of my life, my food, my soul, my essence. I would inspire people who don’t see the value of art to just look at nature, the woods, the stars, the mountains, the oceans, that’s art. And then I would take them to a museum and see what attracts them and what pieces speak to them.”
For more information about Jeannie Lindheim’s art practice visit: http://www.center4creativity.org/index.htm
For information about Hearts & Noses visit: http://www.heartsandnoses.org/