Artwork of the Month Lion Fish, Jeanne McIntosh Rietzke Mention gold artist of the Month Feb 2024

Originally from Charleston, SC, Jeanne McIntosh Rietzke holds a BA in Fine Art from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She spent her formative years painting with E de May Smith, a prominent watercolor artist. Jeanne developed her colorful, coastal, and marine-themed painting style in college.

In her 30+ years as an artist, Jeanne’s paintings have sold nationally and internationally. She has won numerous awards, been accepted into dozens of juried shows, and featured in national and international publications. Preferring the fluidity of watercolor paints, Jeanne’s works are easily recognizable by her creative use of watermarks, intense colors, and unique perspectives. Jeanne has also been known to paint in mixed water media including acrylic paint and inks. You will also see landscapes, abstracts, and waterscapes in her portfolio. February 24, 2022, her first children’s books were published. Jeanne has written and illustrated a series entitled Caroline, The Painted Turtle. Both books were awarded first place in The BookFest Awards Fall 2022 in children’s fiction for Diversity and Multicultural and Social Themes. Jeanne now makes her home in Wilmington, NC, with her husband Jacques and their six cats.

Art House online had a chance to interview the artist, here is the full interview.

  1. When it comes to your art, explain what you do:

I capture my inspiration through the lens of a camera. I am searching for patterns in nature. I then use the photos that have captured a specific moment to inspire my paintings. I love unique perspectives and things other people may not have noticed. I use a water-based medium, primarily watercolor on paper, but I also paint with acrylics and acrylic inks. My resulting paintings rangs from realism to complete abstraction. The patterns are what tie everything together.
      2. What project are you working on now?

I just finished a realistic Drake swimming in a blue tile fountain. Next, I am finishing a large painting of dead, yellowtail snapper on ice. The patterns are insane in both!
      3. Which place in the world do you find to be the most inspiring?

I find inspiration everywhere. I believe being creative is a wide band of energy that can lead a human to express an unseen vision. Your art should be your truth, no matter what that is for you. I love the process of creating my art. I see something in the world, capture it in that moment, and then bring it back to life in my studio. My goal is to relay that moment back to the viewer with my unique perspective.
      4.  What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I ever got was from my Father, William McIntosh III. I wanted to go to a two-year art school instead of college. We were really arguing about it. Finally, one day he turned to me and said “You’re talented. I know you’ll be successful, but what if you ever have to get a job in an office or even teaching? What does a two-year degree do for you?” I caved in and had a great college experience majoring in art. I have had to get those jobs and the degree did matter. Unfortunately, the two-year school was SCAD. You can’t win them all.

       5. Do you make a living off of your art?

I do. I have also published and illustrated children’s books, so that helps.

        6. How has your practice changed over time?

Of course, I have changed. I’ve been painting professionally since 1992. I started as a marine life artist. I still paint a lot of marine life, but I have become more interested in the patterns than the strict subject matter. My drawing skills have advanced and my work is more realistic. I also use acrylic ink more Than I used to. It blends well with watercolor and prevents bleeding.

Artwork: Lion Fish

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Twitter: @JeanneMLirola
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