Jeanne Kirby Bruneau

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Artist Statement:

Year after year, when I was a kid, the most longed-for Christmas present was always the big box of 64 Crayola crayons. Until I discovered pastels several years ago, I hadn’t experienced the sheer joy of creating art with such a satisfying medium since childhood. Growing up in a very artistic family, creativity was encouraged but with practical expectations. I studied advertising design at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, just as desktop publishing came on the scene. I’ve developed a rewarding career in graphic design and marketing, relying almost exclusively on design software to express my vision but I still keep paper and pencil handy to draw quick thumbnail sketches when exploring concepts.

That ability to sketch and compose designs quickly has proved to be a priceless foundation for plein air landscape pastel painting. Several years ago when I decided to explore the world of fine art after decades spent pursuing a career, I experimented with watercolor but found it required too much planning and set-up, wasn’t very forgiving, and didn’t allow me to be spontaneous. Pastels satisfy all of those requirements and more. They are pure, permanent, vibrant colors; allow immediate, layered, expressive application, and are easily portable with quick set-up.

Painting en plein air is always my preference. It forces me to work quickly to capture the essence of the scene that caught my eye. The challenge of painting constantly changing light and shadow makes the end result all the more rewarding. When unable to paint on location, I’ll work in the studio from photos, many of which are taken from horseback while trail riding through the Brandywine Valley in northern Delaware.

I hope my paintings convey a sense of time, place, and atmosphere to the viewer. My goal is to share what I see using expressive, impressionist-style color to describe gestures in the landscape. Being a graphic designer influences how I compose my paintings, and consequently, lessons learned in the field, such as selective focus and color balance, improve the effectiveness of my professional work. My family continues to inspire and support me: now in his ’80s, my Dad still paints and exhibits in senior art shows, and my oldest sister, Patricia, is a prolific artist and teacher with a successful online presence.

Visit her website at:


One Straube Center Blvd • Pennington, NJ 08534 • Phone: 609-737-3322 • E-mail:
Straube Center Boulevard surrounded by Route 31, West Franklin Ave., Knowles Ave.-Bixby’s Way, and Broemel Place