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Life In Layers

Jenny Ferguson Tells Her Story Through Her Art

Article by Maria Dinoia

Photography by Joseph Llanes

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

It wasn’t until local abstract artist and actress, Jenny Ferguson, became a mom that she discovered a love for creating on canvas. Her fascination with color and layers was first explored on stage as a teenager and later on-screen as an adult. “My favorite acting roles have always been the complex, layered characters. In order to portray them, I had to deconstruct each one, revealing all of their exposed colors. They were like a piece of art to me.”

Once her son, Max, was born 14 years ago, she found herself needing a new creative outlet - one she could pursue from home. “It was during those early days of motherhood that I found myself longing to create. Painting became my sanctuary, a place where I could both lose myself and find myself. Which I think ultimately contributed to being a better momma.”

Being completely self-taught, Ferguson says she struggled early on with self-doubt every time she put her art out into the world. “I followed my favorite abstract artists on social media and endeavored to create pieces with brushstrokes that resembled what they were creating. It took me years to realize and celebrate the fact that I couldn’t. And didn’t want to. Once I embraced my own unique style born from the freedom found in using tools other than a brush, a new chapter unfolded, leading me down an unexpected yet fulfilling path – the realm of colors and layers.” 

Deconstructing her own art became her outlet; peeling back layers of paint on canvas has become therapeutic to Ferguson just as it was when she was peeling back layers of a character on stage or now, as she talks with her son about his day. “We’re always un-layering something in the human experience. It takes work to get through them. The layers. But it’s so rewarding. Whether it’s with people, canvas or simply unpacking my own thoughts, what I find underneath is beautiful. Chaotic, messy, colorful beauty." 

 To see more of Ferguson's art or for more information on commissions, follow her at @JennyFergusonArt

"Painting became my sanctuary, a place where I could both lose myself and find myself."