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Jenn Wiggs

Jenn Wiggs

Jennifer Wiggs (1963-) is an American painter specializing in abstract works featuring simple shapes in subtle and complex color harmonies. She studied at Indiana University (BFA) and Washington University, St. Louis, MFA. She maintains an active studio at Orr Street Studios in Columbia, Missouri. She specializes in teaching color, design and painting with an emphasis on the creative process. Last year her work was included in the prestigious 58th Annual Watercolor USA National Exhibition, and The Bowery Gallery’s 28th National Exhibition, New York.


The language of abstraction is broad and for me, poetic. My paintings are metaphors for myself, for my inner thoughts, and connections both conscious and unconscious. The process involves discovery of layers of meaning. I use elements of the landscape to express my ideas about space and color. I favor ambiguous shapes that stay free of description. Ambiguity allows a broader context for meanings and associations. I invent pictorial cues that are suggested by the painting. For example, a flat shape that casts a shadow. My imagination is a key to unlock unseen relationships. I do draw from nature, but retreat as quick as I can, to avoid getting sucked in.


The element of color is my strong suit, my best hand. I tend to favor close color harmonies and nuanced pairings. Using gouache has been central in developing my voice, as a flat, mat partner to the transparency of watercolor. Using both mediums together allow great spatial dexterity; the watercolor suggesting atmosphere, and the mat gouache being insistently flat.


I am drawn to the beauty of paper, the tactile surface, its limitless and deep white space, the expansive possibilities of it.