Jean Kiegerl

Jean Kiegirl


I am a local artist in Merritt, BC and have been active here for years in many community projects involving art and literacy.


My first art love was sketching and watercolour, but I experimented with acrylic and collage also. I continue with those media, but now find my joy and creativity in oil painting.
I have explored various aspects of the art experience. I experimented with art as a business by creating “Palette and Ink Arts Company” and was a member of Creative Company, a co-operative store in Merritt, for three years. I enjoyed marketing my watercolours, prints and cards. I was accepted as an “Active Artist” member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and could exhibit in regional art shows.


However, I found that a home-based business meant full time promotion and accounting, with little time left for painting. Finally, I heeded my brother’s warning – “Don’t turn your play into work!” and returned to ‘just painting.’  Now I have relaxed into painting from my many photos and show my work locally. I occasionally paint commissions and requests to explore a wider range of subjects.
Learning to use different media and techniques keeps me intrigued with art. 
Art galleries are always at the top of my list when traveling. There are endless possibilities for learning new aspects. I worked with Kamloops painter, Yvonne Reddick, to learn the glazing style of the Renaissance artists. I have also taken workshops from David Langevin and Gaye Adams to understand paint chemistry and colour theory.


My art has provided fundraising opportunities for community groups and service clubs. To encourage my fellow artists, I sponsored the art magazine subscriptions at the local public library for many years and that is now an Arts Council program. I spend my volunteer time with the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council (now as Past President) to create ever more opportunities to share knowledge and promote the arts.  I volunteer with their Gallery and teach art classes to encourage new artists and expand art opportunities here. Art has enriched my life in so many ways.

Jean Kiegerl

Artist Statement


Painting for the Love of It


“Does it express an attitude, an opinion, a concern, a joke, a viewpoint?

It is the concept that keeps my interest

for the weeks needed to complete a painting.”


I was hooked the first time I sketched my hand in an adult art class. It was a revelation that something so simple opened a whole new world of experience. Everything suddenly had edges and such beautiful shapes. Shading those sketches meant noticing the full range of light and dark on everything in sight. Then I added paint to my sketches and discovered there were actually thousands of colours.  Well, who would have guessed just seeing could be so complex?


I paint because I want to explore what I see. I actively and intently see because I want to be able to paint. It is the everlasting challenge to figure out how to express my vision and give that image the meaning to others that it has for me. As I add skills and new media to my practice, I have a wider range of possibilities. Which medium would work? What colours are needed? What style and techniques match my intent?   What to emphasize and what is the background to support the intent?


Sometimes my paintings are simply about the physical appearance of the topic, but more often now it is the concept or philosophy that I want the painting to show. “Concept” is becoming more interesting to me than subject matter. Rather than just reproducing a photo in paint, there can be a meaning beyond simple appearance. Does it express an attitude, an opinion, a concern, a joke, a viewpoint? It is the concept that keeps my interest for the weeks needed to complete a painting. The increasing complexity of my painting keeps me enthralled. That focus then reflects back into my sketches, watercolours and acrylics, and ultimately into how I pay attention to seeing.


A sunset is never ‘just another sunset’ any more.

Arts Gallery Exhibition, Oct 15-Nov 14/20

"Art for the Love of It"

In 2017...

Artist Jean Kiegerl 


Jean has participated in Art Walk for the past 5 years. In addition to being an artist, Jean keeps busy in the in the Community as Vice- President of the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council. As a volunteer, she set up programs for weekly painting sessions at the Library and now three outdoor painting days at the Corbett Lake Lodge.


More of her work is on her website -


Interview with Jean, 2017

What inspires your work?

A certain quality of light - a reflection, a transparency, light shining through or glowing. It calls me and makes me want to paint that glow. I paint in a realistic style, sometimes impressionistic, trying to catch that glow. It seems to work best for me in oil paint, rather than watercolour or acrylics


Who is your favourite visual artist and why?  

Caravaggio (Italian, early 1600s) - Caravaggio really knew how to make his paintings glow. He invented a way of painting in many transparent layers to create that effect. Unfortunately, he was such a street-fighting gangster that he was always in trouble and died in exile - only 60 paintings have survived. Nonetheless, he was the one who started the revolution in painting - Rembrandt, Vermeer and all the others can thank him for that.


What is the most amount of time you’ve spent on one piece?

The oil paintings that really glow take about a year, since they need a week to dry enough between each of the many transparent layers. This makes it a challenge to keep the image in mind, so I work from my own photographs to remind me of the original glow that inspired me.


Is there anything new you are working on this year? 


I have done many small oil paintings to learn the layering technique to make the paintings glow. Now I want to paint larger works and to take on the challenge of painting people. Eventually I would like to paint women doing interesting things in the world. In most paintings of women, they are just something to be looked at, much like a vase of flowers. Men are usually shown doing something or being something (labourer, hunter, king, etc.) For paintings of men, just being sexy to look at is not sufficient, there is always a bigger life story shown or implied. That is the social politics of traditional art, but artists should move beyond that archaic notion. That is the long-range challenge I have set for myself.


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