Jean McGuire

Wednesday, May 1 to Friday, June 28, 2019

Jean McGuire is a Kansas City native who returned to painting four years ago after a 40-year hiatus. Most of her paintings are done with her fingers, but she’s not afraid to use a brush when needed. In her most current work she experiments with the effects of spattering or throwing the paint in layers to create an interesting background for her work or to give the impression of an image. She uses a limited palette of red, white, yellow, blue and black, which gives her work a vibrant effect.

Jean’s current work takes the observer through all the stages Jean goes through to complete a final, finished piece. Jean states: “The process of art is ever evolving for me. When I first returned to painting, I would do a rough sketch directly on the canvas and dig right in. As I continued to grow, I became more likely to sketch out what I was going to paint before I started working on canvas or board. When I was working on pieces that I really wanted to capture a certain energy, I began doing small studies to test the vision I held in my mind. I love the evolution I have gone through as a self-taught artist and I look forward to whatever comes next.”

Enjoy this exhibition through June 28.


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

The works that are being shown have different mediums and inspirations. I started out using only oil paint but have progressed to adding acrylic and metallic paints for interest. A number of the pieces have thrown paint incorporated into them, which is not only fun, but is also fascinating to see the shapes and effects that is created.


What was the most important thing you learned from being a self-taught artist? What’s something inherent in your art that couldn’t be taught? 

The most important thing I’ve learned is to honor my process and vision. I am fascinated by trying different processes and seeing how they turn out. I don’t have the schooling a lot of artists have had, but I do bring an energy and vibrancy to my work that can’t be taught.


Describe your creative process. How often are you painting and where is your studio? 

My process is evolving. I use only red, yellow, blue, white, and recently, black. Painting with my fingers is very instinctual with me, but I have started to incorporate more brushwork as needed for details. 

I usually start with a vision in my mind that I sketch out, then do a small study, and finally paint the full-size piece. There are also times when I just start throwing paint and see what the canvas wants to do. 

My studio is at InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park, and I try to make it to the studio at least 5 times a week. I find it important to be in that creative atmosphere. 


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

This one’s tough. I love music and I love to read. I love all kinds of music but usually find country or classical the most creatively inspiring. I love almost anything by Chris Stapleton or Billie Holiday. I have an extensive self-help collection and I find anything by Louise Hay or Iyanla Vanzant helpful. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love was also pivotal in opening my mind to change. I don’t take the time to watch movies very often, but Field of Dreams has always resonated with me.