Artist Jean Berry Explains Her Creations (1993)
My name is Jean Berry. Welcome to my website. Much like the legendary artist Anna Moses, better known as "Grandma Moses", I started my art career in earnest relatively late in life. When I was a child growing up in a working-class family in Kansas City, MO, in the 1940's, my favorite past-time was to escape with scraps of paper and pencil and draw. As I got older, this love never faded and eventually at the age of 48, I went to Drake University to study art. My art has taken me around the world including art exhibits in Johannesburg, Philadelphia, Des Moines and Washington, DC just to name a few. I enjoy sharing my creations with the world.
I use many different mediums, such as charcoal, oils, pastels, found objects, and collage figure drawings integrated with corrugated cardboard. I believe that working in a single medium is too restrictive to my artistic expression. My need to express myself artistically requires that I draw upon many mediums. Each idea manifests in its own individual style.
The death of my youngest child, Toni, was a defining moment in my life. To help fill the void, I threw myself into my art. My creations focus on the everyday experiences of life which are not always pleasant. I do not draw "pretty" pictures. This is not to say that the people depicted in my art are not beautiful. Rather, I strive to express those human emotions and conditions that are meaningful and timeless -- fear, loneliness, sadness, despair, drudgery, pride, desire and the like. I also like to capture the beauty of the human body in motion. Many of my drawings illustrate the gracefulness and aesthetics of the human body in movement.