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Taylor shares ‘brushstrokes of life’

When nightfall came to the farm where Jennifer Stottle Taylor lived in North Alabama, there was something magical, something calling, about the night sky. 

Although she knew and understood that the stars were lightyears away, Taylor also knew the sky was not the limit. A big, world was out there awaiting her and she wanted to experience and absorb it all.

And, so she has and so she does.

Today, Jennifer Stottle Taylor is an award-winning, internationally known impressionist artist. She is also a spiritualist who gains inspiration from her world travels and from just being home in a small rural town in south Middle Tennessee.

Taylor is a featured artist at the Johnson Center for the Arts and her exhibition, “Brush Strokes of Life” opened on January 8 and will close on February 20.

The exhibition includes acrylic and oil paintings that chronical her life and her interests from her early homestead in North Alabama to her present homestead just across the Tennessee line.

“My first love was horses and exploring,” Taylor said. “Most of my days were spent on horseback or searching for fossils and arrowheads in the nearby woods. I loved the outdoors then and I do now.”

Her paintings of horses, reflect her days as a horse trainer and as “the tallest” jockey among fellow jockeys.

But, as greatly as her rural upbringing influenced Taylor’s artwork even more so did her parents’ love of culture.

“In 1982, I visited the Smithsonian and was totally mesmerized by the artwork there,” Taylor said. “Several years later, on my first trip to Europe, my life was changed forever. I was totally absorbed in the art at the Louvre.”

Today, Taylor travels extensively to find inspiration for her artwork. She travels a path with no end so every journey is an opportunity, an adventure and a new creation on canvas.

Whether she is painting scenes in Blue Ridge, Georgia or Gadsden, Alabama or in art residences in France or India, Taylor she uses the scenes that unfold before her to inspire new and deeper meaning in her art.

In the past 10 years, she has focused her artwork on acrylic and oils. And, when she paints, she doesn’t dilly-dally around.

She quickly captures the scene and the essence of it on canvas and she often does so en plein air.

“The term ‘en plein air’ means painting outside,” Taylor said. “Painting outside helps understand color and the changes that take place in minutes or even seconds.”

However, it took time for Taylor to adjust to painting en plein air.

“I had signed up for a year of plein air events but I almost dropped out,” she said. “I didn’t like the quietness of it and, too, there were competitions within the event and I didn’t like that. But, I stayed and I enjoy it.”

Today, Taylor travels with a wooden box that contains paints already out of the tubes and ready-to mix before the colors of the sunset change or the sunbeams drift. The easel can be popped and propped in a matter of seconds and, just that quickly, Taylor is capturing a scene on canvas.

No matter the time or place Jennifer Stottle Taylor is prepared to capture what she calls unicorn paintings. Those are paintings that bring joy to her as she creates art and joy to those who find joy in her creations. Unicorn paintings are those that bring joy to all. And, they, too, are “Brush Strokes of Life.”