Manette Jungels

Artist Portfolio


If you can solve your problem,
Then what is the use of worrying?
If you cannot solve it,
Then what is the use of worrying?
The Healing Power of The Mind, Tulku Thondup

I have always been a worrier.  I would prefer to be a warrior.  I suppose in a sense having cancer has forced me into a stronger relationship with my warrior self, I have never, however, been able to leave behind my worriers.  My painting became a way for me to express my fears and feelings and get them outside of myself.  I started painting in 2003—four years after my initial diagnosis of breast cancer—when I received a residency at the Teacher Institute of Contemporary Art (TICA-thanks Phil Baranowski) at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The residency created a safe environment for me to approach all the feelings roiling around inside of me.  Painting has become a source of both healing and joy to me and I am so grateful to have it in my life.  I am also grateful for the teachers I have had, Deborah Boardman in Chicago, Hugh O’Donnell in Connecticut, Catherine Kehoe in Boston and Tim Hawkeswoth in PA.  Good teachers are empowering—search them out.

I find myself painting from observation or out of my head and heart.  The work is almost always figurative. While I am most deeply connected to the expressive work that erupts from my core, I also have a fascination for learning how to paint from observation.  I assume that through developing my skills with the paint I will strengthen and develop the work that comes from my heart.

Since childhood I have been sentimental and emotional.  I like bright shiny things—I believe I was a magpie in another life. I love my family and friends.  I love beauty.  Beauty is not always pretty; I want the truth, terrifying and ugly as it may be. I also tell the truth, it is writ all over me for others to see.  I never believed that people cried in front of paintings and then I went to the Anselm Kiefer show in DC and found myself crying in front of his paintings.

These paintings are a part of my truth and I think that in the end, that is what I am looking to paint, my truth, ugly or painful as it might be at times, it is what I must cleave to.

Manette Jungels

June 2009