The Art Assassin

a nonfiction novel by Albert Wang

Chapter 48: ASSASSINATION: Jennifer Palmer, Artist Represented by Ugallery

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Photograph of Jennifer Palmer. Courtesy of Jennifer Palmer.
Golden It Glows into the New Day: Jennifer Palmer, 2005, oil on canvas, 15 by 12 inches. Courtesy of Ugallery.

Getting time to know Jennifer Palmer was a wonderful experience. Her work, which has received national recognition, is able to combine her thoughtful command of paint along with her capturing of daily experiences like a visual journal. I was able to peep her work through Ugallery, which represents her beautiful abstractions.

Her work reminds me of a feminine version of Robert Motherwell‘s paintings in terms of its latitude and ability to place color within its emotional context.

If you have any questions about Palmer’s artwork, feel free to contact her gallery at (888) 402-1722 or at

Now here are THE ART ASSASSIN’s details of the “assassination”:

qi peng: You are represented by Ugallery, which is one of the foremost online galleries based in Scottsdale and New York City. How did you get in touch with the gallery and get your work featured on it? How does it differ from being represented by a physical gallery? Has the online model been more helpful for your art career?

Jennifer Palmer: I first became aware of Ugallery from a call for submissions and reviewed their site and then submitted a portfolio and was accepted.

It is different being represented on an online gallery since your work is not physically shown in a gallery space. However, as an artist you want to reach a wide audience and Ugallery allows this to happen since it is available to the viewer 24/7 and anyone can log on and view the work.  It is not limited to a certain geographic area or time frame. It allows convenience and a format for viewing art that is not intimidating.  It opens up the art world to anyone who has the tools to view their website.  Ugallery is taking advantage of technology and provides another way of getting exposure and having your work out there to be seen by the public.

qi peng: Noting that you are a former New American Paintings winner and a featured artist in Studio Visit Magazine, how has being published in both OSP catalogs helped to boost your art into the public eye? Have you found new collectors and/or venues for your paintings? What are you hoping to do in the future involving Ugallery and juried competitions?

Jennifer Palmer: Having my work accepted into New American Paintings and Studio Visit Magazine gave my work great exposure and the opportunity to have my work viewed by a new audience. I was able to use these publications to then market my work. I was able to have my art viewed by collectors who became interested in my work from seeing them in these publications.

In my future with Ugallery my goal is to continue to have my work viewed and to take advantage of the opportunities that they present. I am continually pursuing juried competitions and have been preparing for two shows that I have coming up this year.

qi peng: Considering that you are an experienced artist in the Kentucky contemporary art scene, what advice do you have for upcoming young artists graduating from BFA or MFA programs? Is being in a spot where contemporary art is not hot like in Los Angeles or New York an added challenge to how your artwork can be seen or promoted?

Jennifer Palmer: The advice I would give to graduating BFA and MFA students is to not get discouraged and the most important thing is to keep making work and spending time in the studio.  And you also have to take control of your career outside of the studio and spend time promoting yourself.  It is helpful to set goals and make a business plan on what you would like to accomplish and how you can reach your goals and then go from there. I would highly recommend applying for residencies and taking advantage of the time and feedback that they provide.

Since living here in Kentucky the last few years I continue to maintain the focus of promoting my work nationally versus the regional art scene.  Living here does present different challenges however it has it benefits of a great environment for productive studio work.  And I feel you can live anywhere if you are committed to the process of making art and then from the business side of promoting the work. My work has been primarily shown outside the state and I focus more on showing throughout the country so as an artist I can reach a wider audience of viewers and different markets.

qi peng: What is a typical day in the Jennifer Palmer studio like? What methods would you consider to be your standard studio practice? Does your work gain any inspiration from being located in the beauty of the Southern climate and nature?

Jennifer Palmer: A typical day in the studio for me starts by looking over the work I have started and then figuring out the next step in the process.  I always tend to have multiple pieces being worked at a time so I can keep working and not be stalled by waiting for something to be dry and reading for the next step.  My work also involves a lot of writing and that is the first step in my artistic process.  After a period of writing I will begin to work and allow the process to guide me to the next step in each piece.

My work is heavily influenced by my environments and I am fortunate to have a great studio with a lot of natural light and inspiring views of nature. Along with my environments the pieces are composed from fragments of memories and dreams that are combined to create the composition.  The work is influenced from the time I spent growing up in the Northeast and from living in the South.

qi peng: Do you read any art journals or magazines such as Parkett’s or Art in America or ArtForum? How does your knowledge of what is going on the contemporary art scene in other cities influence your ideas or what you choose to do within your artistic laboratory?

Jennifer Palmer: Yes, I read art journals and magazines. I always have copies of ARTNews and Art in America around to read to keep in touch of what is currently going on in the art scene and in critical thought.  My work is not directly influenced by what is going on in the contemporary art scene in other cities however it is good to analyze where you fit in the context of art.   I base my work on an internal expression and want to focus on my own unique voice versus responding to another artist’s statements or what might be currently popular.

qi peng: What is your opinion of the art fairs, particularly the ones in New York or Miami areas? Do you feel that the economic recession will help or hurt artists who are hoping to have their work shown or bought in the market? Do you have any memorable experiences with any of your collectors? Also do you feel that the recession had any impact on online art sales?

Jennifer Palmer: Art fairs are a great opportunity for artists to have their artwork viewed and provide another venue for artists to show.  The economic recession provides a little uncertainty to artists and the possible market of their art. With that said art is a great investment and along with that investment you also have something that provides enjoyment and art will always hold a value in society.

I have had the opportunity to have a collector who is very interested in my work and it is wonderful to build a relationship with someone who enjoys and understands your work and is supportive of your creative process.

The recession probably has had an affect on the amount of art sold online and buyers are most likely looking for a great bang for their buck and Ugallery is a great place to find affordable art by upcoming artists.

qi peng: How do you visualize your work being placed in the context of art history? Would you consider yourself an abstract expressionist or a postmodern artist that focuses on the techniques of abstract expressionism? Do you think that your painting is a form of conceptual art? Do you think that cartography and landscape art have a strong influence on what you paint or what you paint with?

Jennifer Palmer: I visualize my work being placed in the context of art history as contemporary way of working with expression, mark making and materials utilized.

I try not to define myself but I feel that I would consider myself an abstract expressionist.

The installations of the paintings utilizing the multiples format I would consider them to be conceptual art.  These installations move beyond the singular piece and become about the idea or journey that is being displayed in that series of work.

Cartography and landscape art have had an influence and I really enjoyed studying aerial photography to get understanding of the forms that are created in the land and then translating them to my own work from my experiences and memories.  And a major influence is using wood that is from nature as a basis in my work and allowing the wood grain to be an integral part of the composition.

qi peng: How do you title your artworks? I feel that they are rather literary or poetic? Do you have any poets or writers that you are driven by?

Jennifer Palmer: I title my works to convey a story and glimpse into the life behind the work. The title of my works tends to be inspired by books and poetry and from the journals I keep. My earlier work was heavily influenced by the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig.

The works on wood panels start by the writings I do on the backside and then it progresses to the initial drawing with ink over the wood then I will slowly build up the surface with the painting. Writing is an integral part of my process and the work.

qi peng: You have a masterful use of the color palette. How do you choose the colors? Is it before the painting is started or during its execution? What properties of acrylic do you enjoy best? What properties of oil paint do you enjoy best?

Jennifer Palmer: I have always had a fascination with color theory and color has been one of the main focuses of my work.  The colors are influenced from the environments I am in and then I will build from that initial inspiration to achieve the harmony and rhythm that I want in that composition.  So each piece evolves from the previous mark and there is no preconceived set of colors.  I enjoy having an infinite amount of possibilities and allowing the freedom to see what develops.

I worked primarily with oils until graduate school when I started working with acrylic to have another avenue to work with while the larger format oils paintings I had were drying.

The best thing I enjoy about acrylic is the drying time and their durability. Oils are wonderful for their richness and the life force that they have. And how you can manipulate oil paint depending on the mediums you work with is wonderful characteristic.  I enjoy working with combining oils with marble dust and other mediums to create wonderful range of marks and patterns.

qi peng: What was your experience at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) like? Do you have any memorable teachers or artists that had a strong impact on your painting or studio practice? What is your opinion about open studio visits and critiques? How do you think that art education can improve to help out artists who are choosing to make painting a full-time career?

Jennifer Palmer: My experience at Savannah College of Art and Design was of an intensive program heavily focused on developing a good studio practice, and an understanding of art history and theory.  I enjoyed the time there to develop as an artist and having the support of the professors and the knowledge that they shared and their help in developing critical thought and my own voice. I was lucky to have professors so devoted to my education as an artist.  An artist that I found very inspirational was the work of Milton Avery and his utilization of color in his compositions was very influential in the way I think about color.

In school, studio visits and critiques are essential to the learning process and are important in developing a dialogue as an artist and the ability to talk about your work and also to receive feedback to so you can develop and progress as an artist.  Multiple viewpoints encourage you to think critically and develop to a place you might not have been thinking and you can then progress to a new level.  Art is about responding to various stimuli and criticism in school is an excellent way to challenge an artist about the way they think and make art.

I think art education can improve by helping out artists who are choosing to make painting a full time career by stressing the importance of having business skills along with your art.  Being an artist goes far beyond what you do in your studio and you need to have the background in other areas to prepare for making a career in it. I found it very useful to have spent my undergraduate career getting a liberal arts education and being exposed to a range of subjects.

qi peng: Is there anything else that you wish to share with your fans of your work?

Jennifer Palmer: I would like thank your readers for their time and for all my fans and those who support my work.

For more gossip or dishing me the art scoop: E-mail me at

Written by qi peng

May 12, 2009 at 2:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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