Jean Hershey

Thursday, September 1 to Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Jean Hershey developed as a painter through her years working as a commercial artist. She allows emotions and the subconscious mind to guide her in the creation of abstract pieces with bold color and movement. Hershey’s artwork will be on display at the Shawnee branch until December 21, 2022.


Tell us about the work on exhibit. What’s the medium? What has inspired their creation?

I often call my paintings “Poetry of Painted Thoughts.” I usually work with acrylics on canvas. My inspiration comes from other great abstract artists and love getting absorbed into their colors and minds.


What themes do you pursue?

I try not to be too involved in themes. I paint one painting, but then, on the next… I want to try another new beginning, new colors and whatever way my subconscious is taking me.


Three brightly colored abstract paintings hanging on a wall.


How do you feel when a piece is finished?

Most times, I’m exhausted. Sometimes people don’t understand the mental work that goes into a painting. Sometimes, I’ll say, “I’m through painting…gosh, never again.” But soon, I’m back in my studio…tearing the wrapper off a canvas and grabbing my paint brushes. I can’t stop.


What wisdom/insight would you share with your past self if you could?

“Your failures help you grow and don’t get discouraged. Every good artist has had a wastepaper basket full of bad paintings.”


What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

Easy answer.  Paints, a canvas and paintbrushes.


Please list 5-10 books, movies and/or music that currently inspire you.

Art books on Helen Frankenthaler and Kandinsky

The Nightingale Kristen Hannah

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

Power of Positive Thinking Norman Vincent Peale

Illusions Richard Bach

Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

Ina Garten Cookbooks

The Winds of War Herman Wouk