Elizabeth Jenness of Carrollwood said she hopes her artwork stirs a memory, stimulates the imagination or helps the viewer find a feeling or remember a dream.
Bamboozle Tea Lounge, 109 12th St., Tampa, in the Channelside District, is featuring her oil paintings in a solo show, “Urbanscapes.” The one-woman show kicked off Dec. 9 and will stay up through Jan. 9.
“I have been drawn to urban scenes with character, and an interesting play of light and that invoke a strong feeling, a spark of my imagination,” Jenness said. “I look for structures and scenes that have an element of dimension and depth in space because, for me, portraying space, depth, dimension, atmosphere through the use of shape and color and light/dark is satisfying in anything I paint.”
Jenness said that while the paintings for the show are all urbanscapes, but she also paints and draws portrait, still life and some landscape as well.
Married to Al Burge, the couple lives in the Forest Hills area of Carrollwood. She was born in Plymouth, Mass., and moved to the Tampa area in 1990. Jenness has two grown children and a grandchild living in the area, although her mom, Millicent Bruce, still resides in Massachusetts.
Jenness said she was raised by her mother and her grandmother, Ruth Jewell. Her grandmother, who has since passed away, was a painter living in an artists’ colony in Rockport, Mass.
“We lived with her in the summers and she began to teach me to paint,” Jenness said. “Year after year, I was seeing a lot of work by the artists of the area who were, to my memory, primarily representational painters. I believe that my style is influenced by this time, by these artists and by my appreciation for great painters of the past.”
Tim Gibbons of Seminole Heights, an art instructor who coordinates the art shows at the Bamboozle Tea Lounge, said Jenness’ beautiful oils depict the mood and mystery of the 1930s and ‘40s.
“Her landscapes are reminiscent of Edward Hopper, although Elizabeth has a talent all her own,” Gibbons said, adding she was accepted at the age of 17 to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
He said Jenness uses soft, muted colors that hint at the mystery waiting around the corners of her urbanscapes and other scenes.
Jenness said she likes painting out in public because of the interaction she has with others.
“I enjoy the curiosity of the people who stop to chat as I paint – they often tell me about the area, their lives the buildings,” she said. “I will note a building or scene as I am driving around from place to place and I’ll try to get back to it. If I do I might find something else in the area that is a stronger image.”
Jenness said she respects and admires the many fine artists in the area. She said the artists in the Tampa art community are generous, supportive, passionate, unpretentious and understanding.
“I believe that there is a spirit that moves one in this desire to capture something tangible and spatial that is so easy to overlook or to admire and forget – whether it be person, place or thing,” Jenness said. “And now when, in my life anyway, the world is going by faster and faster, to sit for several hours quietly tuning in and concentrating deeply in an effort to both capture a moment and do it as well as possible, honing craft and partnering with spirit, is for me soul satisfying and life affirming, it is growth. I think my fellow artists here, and there, would relate.”
Bamboozle Tea Lounge is open Mondays through Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.