Step into the Studio with Jenan McClain

We are excited to introduce one of our newest artists, Jenan McClain. We decided to visit Jenan in her Mount Pleasant studio to learn a little more about her practice.

  

Jenan has always loved drawing and painting as “a sacred place to express emotion.” Jenan attended the fine arts center in high school in Greenville, South Carolina and was strongly influenced by Jim Campbell, who initially planted the seeds of intuitive art.  

 Her loose brushwork resembles the work of abstract expressionist painters. She draws from intuition and feels the emotion, colors and subject matter. 

“My inspiration originates from a variety of sources-sometimes a beautiful field of flowers, an incredible view of a Charleston marsh, a baby's laugh, a stranger's kindness.  The calming and sustainable force of the sea, the flowers, the trees, the sunsets, the storms.  Inspiration can even come from a new paint color I've yet to use!”

A few of her favorite artists include Monet, Cezan, Degas, Van Gogh.  They paved the way for appreciation outside of realism. A few of her favorite modern day artists include Katie Wyatt, Maren Devine, Carrie Beth Waghorn. 

“I love poetry and draw huge inspiration from Mary Oliver.  I dabble in writing and many of my titles come from poems around personal emotional experiences."

 

Art has always been a part of Jenan’s life.  She spent 7 years in the Carribean where she created summer art programs for local children during her "off" season. She gifted art for years and loved painting however, with a busy career in international real estate she never considered art as a career.  

After a life changing event three years ago, Jenan began painting prolifically as way to heal from trauma.

 "Painting became as necessary as breathing for her."

She returned to the one place she felt safe, empowered, and strong, channeling all of the emotion into creation on the canvas.  She started exploring in a completely different way, letting intuition guide brushstrokes and allowing emotional release in each piece.  Soon Jenan was painting every night after putting Isla (her daughter) to sleep and in every free moment on the weekends!  Her home was filled with paintings and her dining room floor was covered in paint!  She received so much positive feedback, she decided to build a studio behind her home in Mount pleasant and decided to fully pursue her lifelong dream.  

Today you can find Jenan working with her husband on their new hotel in Belize, teaching barre at Barre South or painting in her backyard studio accompanied by her sweet mini labradoodle Goji.