I gather inspiration for my work from faces I see all around me everyday. Sometimes these faces are from online sources but many times they come from faces I see in public places like the grocery store or a restaurant. Often a certain pose or facial expression will trigger an idea for a painting. I typically change the physical features of the face while preserving the emotion. I paint the human condition, exploring complex feelings such  as sorrow, anxiety, and diffidence. Through my paintings I hope to gain a better understanding of these emotions in myself and others, and as a result, I find my work to be empathetic and self healing. I also explore topics of human impact on the environment and women’s rights. 

I paint primarily in oils but I start each painting with an acrylic underpainting. This way I can get a lot of paint down quickly on the canvas and it allows me to change the composition easily if needed. Then I complete the painting with layers of oil paint. I enjoy the juxtaposition of somber emotions with bright colors as it communicates the way people hide their feelings, putting on a false face to give the illusion of happiness that is not really there. My paintings rarely end up the way I imagined them when I begin. Each piece has its own personality and I find I have a hard time letting any of them go.  

Artist Bio- Jeanne May

Jeanne May, a retired teacher, is a self taught artist primarily painting in oils and acrylics. Her work explores human emotions and issues of climate change and women’s rights. Since starting her artistic journey in July 2023 Jeanne has participated in gallery shows at the Carolina Artist Gallery in Morehead City, NC on a regular basis. Her work has also been juried into regional  shows such as Artfields 2024 in South Carolina, national shows including MVA Art Gallery in Bethlehem PA and the international art fair UnFair Milano 2024 in Milan Italy through the Van Gogh Art Gallery, Madrid Spain. Jeanne has received two honorable mention awards and a people’s choice award for her work. She hopes to continue to grow in her art practice and enjoy the wonderful community of artists that she has found in coastal NC.