Jenni is an Australian artist and chef, who is based in the beautiful Byron Bay Hinterland, Australia and delights in creating paintings that combine two of her favourite things - cooking and art.
Jenni bought her first cafe when she was just 16 years old - The Chelsea Teahouse in Avalon. It was only later in life that she discovered her love for painting. This love is what lead Jenni to go on to create artworks depicting beautifully presented food. Jenni is in her element whilst baking beautiful cakes, biscuits, pastries and turning them into works of art.
She finds all aspects of food and cafes very emotional, as fondly remembered by Jenni, “I often associate memories to food. I know when I bake bread, I think of my dad in the kitchen baking these enormous loaves for our family, my Grandma and I making little, sweet jam mushrooms with icing and pastry stalks and my mum and I destroying the kitchen through cake decorating, every bowl and appliance in the house was used. Our favourite recipes remind us of our loved ones – when we create them, in a way, it brings them back to us. My paintings are a way of capturing those images”
Jenni recalls, “It wasn’t so much that I discovered my love of painting and drawing as I remember now, I just never thought I had any talent to even attempt to do anything more substantial. My defining moment came whilst walking back home from an oil painting class in our local hall in Empire Bay on the central coast and thinking wow I can paint! and I dabbled with the thought “I could be an artist” I had only just painted my first painting and I knew nothing accept I absolutely loved it!”
After the birth of her two daughters, Jenni took Folk-art Classes in Singleton and then knew she wanted to go and do formal training to gain confidence, that’s when she completed Cert II & III in Fine Art & Contemporary Craft at Tafe. “This taught me the foundations of drawing and playing around with different mediums and styles,” said Jenni.
Jenni’s creative process starts with feelings that she gains from the observation of these subjects. Then her mind starts to envision how it could look, usually painting from still life, photos or real life as in plein air. As passionately described by Jenni, “When I bake the texture and colours consume me - there is never ending inspiration from these subjects. It’s life and it is a part of us all."
“You can’t live without food!”