Jennifer Lynn Steele Canadian Visual Artist, Sculptor, and Entertainer logged on 27 January 2007 first time in Second Life.
She is an abstract expressionist or representational painter, but she also do high realism and graphite work as well as sculpture.
Jennifer loves a very busy life – she says that keeps her alive and she never apologizes for it!
Jennifer’s family is full of singers, writers, visual artists, musicians, performers and actors.
She was always encouraged to become an artist from a childhood. Her mother was an amazing opera singer and illustrator. Her father was an incredible musician and a classic bass player.
Driven by the pure raw emotions and inspired with the knowledge that her work touches others, it feeds on these emotions and stays in permanent motion of creativity.
Her art is neither political nor religious, nor does it express social injustice.
With an inner urge to keep creating, keep doing what she has to do, Jennifer is an artist who is constantly work on her skills (her profession). She knows that being an artist does not only mean doing things – but also that is about never giving up.
And it doesn’t matter whether everything is “successful” or not, for Jennifer everything she does has a profound meaning – everything is there because she have to do it. It’s a part of her being that needs to be fed.
As she says in RL she is an INFJ, artist, personal chef, renovation specialist, builder and voice actor.
In SL, Jennifer is a MASTER Builder and Scripter (age 14), a business owner, custom content creator and Resident Award Winning Visual Artist who has many displays and exhibits across SL.
Jennifer´s official business office in Second Life, “Stoneshild & Steele Engineering” provides, Custom Building, Scripting, Texturing, Sounds, Terraforming and Animations.
True to the motto, “Own your actions = own your trip!”, Jennifer believes in snorting belly laughs, directness, trust, privacy, ART, feminism, authenticity, friendliness, honesty, communication, loyalty, manners, class, intelligence, gratitude, professionalism, generosity, fierce fight for her rights, silliness, hugs, respect, and love.
With her statement: “Art … is not a decoration. Art is a statement. It should be bought because it spoke to you, not because it fits your sofa. This piece on your wall tells a story about you and how you are connect in a unique way to the creative spirit. “- Jennifer confirms that this is what she really is, an artist who inspires others, enriches Second Life and impresses us all.
Interview with Jennifer Steele
Your life without art would be …
Jennifer: Nothing. A huge void of nothing. Art is everywhere. It’s not just music, writing and dancing, and visual arts. It’s in everything you use and see every single day. That keyboard you’re typing on, that screen you’re looking at, the mouse you’re moving – some creative mind designed that. You can’t escape it. A life without art would be – paint everything white and everything looks like a box. No inspiration. No passion. A huge void of nothing.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Jennifer: Nature, life experiences, hanging with musicians and other artists. I’m a deep emotional painter even though some of my work may appear just light and carefree. There’s a ways a story behind the work and usually much more of a story than the viewer assumed.
What is your work about?
Jennifer: My work is about my reaction. How did that make me feel? What was I thinking when I saw that? What message do I want to convey? How do I want the viewer to feel?
How is the artistic process like there? Do you see an object / person / landscape first and then the idea comes up? Or is it upside down?
Jennifer: For me it’s things and experiences that cause a rush of emotion. Could be a sock – could be a an argument with a lover, could be a piece of music that moved me to tears, a hug, a rude tourist, could be a best friend that made me snort laugh. That’s where it starts. Then I’ll set up and sketch or paint en plein air. If that’s not possible I’ll take way too many photographs of the subject matter. The work then heads back to the studio with me and sometimes it will be put in a book or hung on a wall and left along for months until I decide what it needs or doesn’t need.
Jennifer: Own your journey. Until you authentically take responsibility for your reaction to everything that happens in your life you will never move forward.
Currently, the best place for you in SL?
Jennifer: I’m all over the place… but if I need my silence or centering or to rebuild my energy, my own SL home. If I need inspiration I’ll tour and tour and tour. Some days it’s all about music and people and getting far out of my head. Other days it’s about a singular journey. When I’m painting IRL I actually park myself at my own gallery – The Jennifer Steele Gallery and sometimes I’ll do a YouTube live of the painting I’m creating IRL as I paint in SL. So I guess the best place for me in SL, is where the Wind takes me.
A question that moves you right now …
Jennifer: Why do imperfect people expect perfection from other imperfect people?
Is there a work of art in your life that particularly impressed you?
Jennifer: Ken Danby’s Pancho – when I was very young it was Ken Danby that I followed most closely and tried to imitate. Of course his technique was flawless and I’m just not a photorealistic painter. But I would imagine without his work, I probably would not have pursued art as passionately as I have.
What is art for you – now completely independent of the usual definitions?
Jennifer: A spiritual journey, a seductive lover, an unruly child, a release, an addiction, a constant pulsing vibration throughout my entire being. The very breath I take. And all that said – it changes every single day.
Was there a key experience or has the artist profession always been your dearest wish?
Jennifer: In real life, from a child I’ve always been encouraged to be an Artist. My Mother was an amazing opera singer and sketch artist. My Dad was an incredible musician and a classical bass player for Sarah Vaughan when she toured in Canada. My family is full of singers, writers, visual artists, musicians, performers, and actors. Being an artist is who I am. It’s my blood, my life, the reason I wake up every day.
In SL, it was definitely getting involved in the Lundy Gallery and Museum. I met Lee Olsen through the Burn2 experience. He encouraged me to make it a priority to bring my art into second life by giving me my first real permanent gallery space. His patience, inspiration, and kindness has inspired so many artists to keep moving forward. My dearest wish for Lee and the Lundy Gallery and Museum is that it will always exist in SL and always be representative of authentic visual art in SL.
What drives you?
Jennifer: Emotion. Pure raw emotion. Any artist is lying if they don’t include how wonderful it is to have others appreciate your work as well. It’s very inspiring to know my work is touching others. I feed off their emotions as well and it inspires me to keep moving, keep creating, keep doing what I must do. In the same respect, because I feed off emotions so much, another person’s negativity can shut me down creatively – I have to be very careful who I let into my circle.
Do you feel understood with your art?
Jennifer: Like I said, it’s great when people appreciate your work. I think though appreciation and understanding are two very different realms. I’ve had people just gush over a piece I’ve done and they tell me why and what it means to them and I never have the heart to tell them that wasn’t my intention at all. But when that happens, you learn not to really deeply explain the meaning of your work, stand back, and let the art live in and of itself. Let them see what they need to see. In that, there is an understanding between the creator and the receiver. I’ll give you what you need – just let me create.
Do you think that you can make a difference with your art?
Jennifer: My art isn’t political or religious or expressing some social injustice – although of those the latter types of work are some of my personal favourites. I suppose when somebody reacts that the work instantly cheered them up, or instantly made them peaceful I am making a difference – one viewer at a time. It’s when somebody comes to me and tells me the work moved them deeply to their core, I know I’m on the right journey.
Do you think that everyone is an artist?
Jennifer: No. I think anyone can create things. But an artist, to be constantly working on your skill (your trade) to truly give into that lifestyle, to sometimes sacrifice your sanity for your work, not everyone is cut out for that. Some days I question if I am. So, I do think everyone has a creative side – but to be an artist isn’t just making things – it’s about knowing many hours will end up in failure and not giving up, the ability to really put your heart and soul into a piece and not care if it sells, if it will have some profound meaning – it’s there because you must do it. It’s a part of you that has to be fed.
Do you have any role models? If yes, which?
Jennifer: Off the top of my head… Colville, Danby, Group of Seven, Kandinsky, Pollock, Wool, Zóbel and Monet. My friends know how obsessed I am with Frida Kahlo and how many times I’ve studied O’Keeffe and Rivera. But then I have writers who inspire me greatly like Fran Lebowitz – can’t get enough of her words and talks. I’ve wept openly at photographs by Annie Leibovitz. I could go on for days listing the various musicians who inspire me greatly. In SL, Seli Blackmore and Mavenn inspire to just GO FOR IT! Finally, comedians inspire me – Lily Tomlin, Kathleen Madigan, Gilda Radner, and yes I love Lewis Black! Make me laugh and I’ll listen to you for days!
What does the term art mean to you?
Jennifer: I think it’s a generic term for all creative egresses – visual art, dancing, acting, cooking, writing, graphic design, 3D design, virtual creations.. etc.. etc.. it’s all art. We’re surrounded. Even in the most mundane thing like your trash can – it’s art – somebody designed it, somebody chose the colour, somebody manufactured it and there you have it in your home – why? Not just because of price or function – something about it appealed to you. It’s all art.
Are there any topics that you are particularly interested in implementing?
Jennifer: Yes. After my Life In Wine Country tour, I have a second one planned called Urban Life. I think many people who are enjoying the new wine country tour will be sort of shocked with this new work coming out in the fall/winter. It’s filled with brutal honesty and it’s taking everything I have emotionally to create.
What is your strength?
Jennifer: My sense of humour. If I’m hurt and I laugh, I heal. If I’m stressed or anxious and I laugh, I can breathe. My fondest memories of my Mom where the number of times we laughed – not giggle – belly churning snorting tears rolling down our faces laughter. We were so poor growing up and didn’t have much except one another… My Mom instilled in me that the ability to laugh at yourself and the situations you find yourself in can get you through the darkest moments.
What was the best advice you have ever received in SL?
Jennifer: I’ve have two that always ring in my ears: “Never expand beyond your means” and “Everyone in SL thinks they’re more important than they are”. They’re about being humble. They’re about staying kind. They remind you that no matter the fashion, the size of your house in SL, the fame or infamy you achieve, nothing matters – at the end of the day people will remember you for how you treated them and nothing more.
Your next projects, exhibitions. Where your art can be seen?
Jennifer: My latest collection, Life In Wine Country is currently on tour and I’m accepting Gallery Show Inquiries for the tour. It will be at Lundy Gallery for May then back again in August at the BOSL Main Gallery. In the fall I have two more rotating tours coming.
We extend a cheerful welcome!
Jennifer Steele – Life in wine Country – 2021 Tour – Lundy Art Gallery and Museum – Opening exhibition 2 May – Exhibition duration until May 31st
“All my life I’ve been an artist, I formally studied Fine Art and Fine Art History at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario Canada, under the mentorship of the late award winning Canadian Painter Michal Manson, and was featured in the Robert Langden Art Gallery in the late 1980s. I’ve studied Art all over the world from the California Coast to various locations in Europe.
Initially a realist painter, I modeled my work after Alex Colville and Ken Danby. Yet, my painting style kept pulling me back to images from the Group of Seven, Kandinsky, Pollock, Wool, Zóbel and Monet. After years of honing my style I learned that capturing the emotion of the scene, or the experience of it, was a much more satisfying journey. I paint in both acrylic and oil and prefer to combine the two, oil over acrylic.
I now reside in Niagara Wine Country, in Ontario Canada. Beyond the obvious influences of the Canadian horseshoe falls and the great whirlpool, it is the world’s largest naturally occurring biosphere. The vistas that include vineyards as far as you can see, gorgeous hiking trails, the shores of both lake Ontario and lake Erie and the breath-taking Niagara Escarpment are now the daily influences that seep their way into my work.
My work is hanging in the TAG Art Gallery in St. Catharines Ontario Canada and has been recently featured in Lynn Lawler’s Art Blog, at The Hub On Queen in Niagara Falls and at Niagara Night of Art. I’m also a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, a sculptor, graphic artist and 3D modelist.”
Art Galleries of SL – Main Gallery (Invited Artist)
Art In The Park
BOSL Christmas Show (Invited Artist)
BOSL Main Gallery
BOSL – Cafe Du Art (Invited Artist)
Crystal Cove – Official Tour Gallery (Invited Artist)
Crystal Cove – Feed A Smile Event
Fall for Art Hunt (Invited Artist)
Featured in Designing Worlds
Featured on Lab Gab 02-2021
Heart of Dragons (Invited Artist)
Jennifer Steele Gallery
Linden Endowment For the Arts (Original)
One Billion Rising (Invited Artist)
Raglan Shire Artfest
Rainbow Painters Art Gallery (Resident Artist)
RFL Home Garden & Breedable Show (Invited Artist)
Rock Your Rack (Invited Artist)
Sisi Biedermann Gallery (Invited Artist)
SLEA GRANT Region 7
The Janus Gallery (Invited Artist)
The Lundy Gallery and Museum(Resident Artist)
UWA Art Show (Invited Artist)