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 Jean Wallin  (1942 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico      Known for: figurative painting and sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Figurative artist, Jean Wallin grew up in northeast Arkansas where her artistic ability found little encouragement. At the age of 9 she was sent to live with her grandmother, who discouraged her determination to get a high school diploma. However, Wallin remained persistent and continued her education.

When she turned 20, a friend gave her a paint set, that started her painting and eventually took a 6-month art class in Arkansas. She was married in 1967 and moved with her husband to Bangkok, Thailand where she was exposed to a whole new culture. Upon their return to Miami, Florida, Wallin began majoring in art education at the University of Miami. At that time she appreciated Impressionists and Old Masters work and was turned off by abstract expressionists that was until she saw the work at a campus exhibition.

Her husband and her relocated to Albuquerque,NM in 1977 for several years while her husband was getting his Ph. D. and, later going through a divorce. When she was close to 40 and living in Ocala, FL, she began to want to make a career as an artist. She began painting landscapes in oils. But while visiting a friend in Miami she looked through his Southwest Art magazines and felt a yearning to return to the area.

She spent six months studying with the first art teacher in Arkansas. Then, while visiting her sister in Illinois, she met and married a man who worked for IBM, residing with him for five years in Chicago until his 1986 transfer, at her urging to Santa Fe.

After moving to New Mexico she became more exposed to all the other wonderful landscape painters and began to stray from landscapes. Starting to work with acrylics, rather than oils, and painting puzzle pieces that kept turning into female figures-she was beginning to trust her instincts.

While creating these acrylic female figures the artist never works from live models, rather she just idealizes the woman. Recently, Wallin has been experimenting with bronzes and ceramics. She paints the ceramics with acrylics so she can control the color process, but the sculptures are oil-based and are turned into bronzes.

Rebello, Stephen, "In Praise of Women" Southwest Art, November 2004

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