Artist Interview: Bonnie Jordan

Posted by Jenni Kirby - October 03 2022


“All I need in my studio is good light, and music to start painting.”


Q. What inspired you to get into the arts?

A. So many people say to me, “I wish I could paint”.  Frankly, I was one of those people.  

When I turned 40, I had an overwhelming urge to be an oil painter, but I didnt think I could.  It took ten years before I picked up a paint brush to paint my first painting at the age of 50.  So, my motto is if you have the desire, you can do it.

My moment of truth came when I took a class and brought my painting home to keep working on it. My teenage daughter walked in and sarcastically said ‘so where’s your painting?’ When I showed her, she gasped and said, ‘can I put this in my room?!’ I was so surprised she was impressed, it encouraged me to continue painting!


Q. Tell me about your creative process / How do you approach new projects?

A. Often I see a sunset or sunrise that takes my breath away and I might use that in a landscape that might have a blue sky. On occasions it is fun to paint from a memory. If I see a sunset or sunrise, I will often take pictures of the setting. Sometimes I will put pieces together from memory which gives you a lot of freedom.


Q. Who and/or what are your biggest inspirations and how do they influence your work?

A. I am inspired by nature, the beautiful colors of flowers and the light found in morning sunrise. My passion for painting landscapes was influenced by a trip to France where I spent three weeks painting the French countryside. I am also blessed to live on 11 acres of woods which is a constant source of inspiration.

I am also a member of Swimming-in-Paint (SIP) which has been a huge inspiration. I first saw SIP instructor Chuck Larivey painting during a demonstration at Crossroads and had always loved his Koi paintings. Watching Chuck paint brought me joy. He is one of my favorite living artists, and I own several of his paintings now. Before joining SIP, I only did still life’s, but he taught me to paint landscapes so successfully and now it’s all I do.


Q. What is your favorite subject matter to focus on and why?

A. I love painting light, fields of flowers and trees.  My favorite scene is fields of poppies.

I have a passion for painting landscapes. My popular poppy paintings were all inspired by France. I love bright colors, and high chroma paintings which is why I use oil because you can create these vibrant colors. Poppies are a challenge because red paint dries very slowly, and you have to use many shades of red to get highlights.


Q. If you had a motto, for your art and life, what would it be?

A. My favorite quote is by Henry Ford - Whether you think you can, or you think you cant - youre right”.