Jean LeCluyse was born and raised in the heart of the agricultural Midwest. The tall grass prairies and majestic Flint Hills, located in her native state of Kansas, became the foundational inspiration for her art. She attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence where she received her BFA in printmaking. She now lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. During the course of her journey as an artist, she supported herself as a farm laborer detasseling corn and as a cannery worker putting the pork in the pork-n-beans. She followed her interest in printmaking during her time as a printers apprentice at a lithography workshop. She honed observation and drawing skills during her years as a freelance scientific illustrator. She eventually obtained a BSN and became a nurse, primarily as a means to help support her family. However, it resulted in many rewarding and inspirational experiences that continue to influence her artwork today.
My drawings are richly detailed windows into a ‘secret’ narratives. The most successful images are ones that lots of people can relate to and reminds them of some story in their own lives.
My mixed media pieces are most often acrylic, colored pencil, collaged elements and graphite over randomly textured surfaces that seem to serendipitously play into and enhance the imagery. The fun is the sense of adventure and discovery inherent in the process.
My most detailed works are done in graphite. My background in scientific illustration really takes over when I am working on a graphite drawing. The mixed media pieces require constant decision making and moment to moment engagement. The graphite drawings are a break from this. They are more meditative and relaxing to do.
My plan is for the detail to pull the viewers attention into the drawing and into the story. —Jean LeCluyse
Exhibited in Drawing Discourse: 7th Annual Contemporary Exhibition. Juror, Edgar Jerins, selected 43 pieces from among 908 entries submitted by 307 artists from 7 countries. Jean’s graphite drawing, Underdevelopment at Obey Creek, was among the drawings selected for presentation in the exhibit in the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, Owen Hall, UNC Asheville. January 15, 2016 − February 12. Her work is published in the exhibition.
Exhibited in Drawn, Manifest Gallery, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Drawings by 394 artists (1188 pieces) from 44 states, 20 countries, and Washington, D.C., were submitted for consideration. Jean’s graphite drawing, Hierophany, was one of thirty-six works by 27 artists from 13 states, England, Japan, and Spain selected for presentation in the gallery April 17 − May 15, 2015, and in the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.