J.N. Ward creates fine oil paintings, mixed media pieces, and watercolors in addition to illustrations and comics.
Problematic is artwork made from thinking about American feminism in the post-Trump world. In addition to symbolizing the pull between domesticated nature and uncultivated growth, houseplants are used as symbols for the young American and what she has to give. Icons are presented and plants are given as votive offerings, and the stages of an American woman in society are presented.
The mixed media drawings started as studies for larger paintings. They challenged me technically and emotionally in a way I wasn't expecting and turned into a work of their own. Sotheby's Super Southern Social was a show about memories of growing up in the South and changing traditional flag symbols in order to create a new Southern Woman icon, but most of all it was about bringing small-town community back to the arts.
Acrylic, collage, embroidery, ink, nails, pencil, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 20.25" x 33". 2015
Come and Take It (Initial Response)
Acrylic, ink, nails, and pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 40" x 27". 2015
Come and Take It (Past, Present, and Future)
Ink, nails, pencil, rubber stamp, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 40" x 27". 2015
Come and Take It (Bound Up)
Ink, pencil, nails, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 40" x 27". 2015
Come and Take It (Joining the Club)
Acrylic, ink, nails, pencil, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 40" x 27". 2015
Acrylic, collage, embroidery, ink, pencil, nails, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 21" x 26". 2015
The Baptist Hymnal
Acrylic, embroidery, nails, pen, pencil, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 44" x 27". 2015
The Segregated Graveyard
Acrylic, collage, embroidery, nails, pen, pencil, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 21" x 43". 2016
Their Time to Shine
Crayon, collage, colored pencil, embroider, nails, pen, pencil, and watercolor pencil on paper mounted on gessoed plywood, 19" x 30". 2016
A prominent piece in the show was a Southern style spread that one would find at any bridal or baby shower. I made all of the food myself and relied heavily on recipes from my deceased grandmother. Most of the food wouldn't belong at a modern shower these days. A table laid out for a big event in the South wouldn't be complete without a large flower arrangement . An over-the-top amount of irises, lilies, poppies, and snapdragons were purchased from a local farmer for the show.
Local women came together to participate in the bake sale, which was key part of the show. I wanted a way for people to actively participate in the show and way to foster ties in the community - the bake sale was the perfect way to do that. All of the proceeds from the sale were donated to a local non-profit organization, the Northwest Arkansas Center for Sexual Assault. From a small bake sale we were able to raise $184 for the organization.
Hidden Spaces are the spaces that are just around the corner and behind buildings. They are secret views. These watercolor illustrations are documentation of gateways into fantastic mysteries.
Bad Mama Jamas are watercolors of tough cookies and bold women who hold their own. I began painting them when I realized that I'm fantastic just the way I am. Bad Mama Jamas are the grown-up You Did It! and Way To Go! stickers for the up-and-coming woman who doesn't need to apologize.
What It Is Like When You Are a Ghost is a small series of oil paintings about simultaneous presence and absence. Our memories and associations change in relation to where we find ourselves, which is something I think about during big transitions.
The Isolated Experience is a series of oil paintings and prints about missed moments. When I worked on these several relationships in my life were winding down. The paintings and prints of The Isolated Experience come from not wanting it to end just yet.
Monoprint, stencil, graphite, and acrylic on paper, 10.5" x 11". 2013
Orange and Blue
Oil on canvas, 24" x 20". 2012
Brushwork is a comic about personal growth. I kept the comics to myself until a friend suggested that I share them -- it had helped them to not feel so alone in their own struggles, and they thought it might help others, too. Buy your own 20 comics worth of Brushworkhere! Take a step back and learn to laugh at your anxieties with Brushwork.