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Behind the Scenes: Jette Reinert’s Coffee Stain-Inspired Artistic Process

‘Adulting’…who needs it? How many times have you imagined that you’re somewhat physically fit enough to climb through a teensy window of liberation, but then – boom! – another sobering responsibility comes a knockin’? It’s in those moments that revisiting the sweet simplicity of our younger years tends to be particularly warm and extra-extra fuzzy. Remember how the greatest tragedy that befell us was breathlessly chasing after the ice cream man while he fiendishly hit the pedal to the metal? That was hardly spirit-skewering in light of the 364 other days of the year in which we generally just felt the way that a dandelion puff surfing atop a sunbeam looks. Well, that spiritual essence – of unstoppable joy – is encapsulated within Jette Reinert‘s art!

I try to bring little waves of joy to my audience, or simple reminders that life is just a little too serious. In a way, my art is a form of encouragement – it urges us to definitely laugh whenever we can, eat the cookies, and do all of the things that captured our hearts back when we were young enough to know better!

For a kinetic explosion of lightheartedness – as well as footloose and fancy free ebullience – we invite you to join us on a creative journey into the mind of one of our favorite contemporary artists, Jette Reinert. The Danish painter never fails to emblazon upon canvas the visual representation of joie de vivre, which – for many of us – becomes increasingly elusive with each additional candle adorning our birthday cakes. Her delightfully quirky worlds are the artistic version of fireworks, sparking within us a renewed sense of enamorment for nothing in particular and yet everything that makes this existence well worth celebrating. All thanks to the flash of inspiration provided by haphazardly spilled coffee on canvas. Yes, you read that correctly, and – double yes – this is going to be heaps of fun. How much do we LOVE art process articles?? Woo-hoo – let’s go play!

Step 1

My art really does begin with a splash of coffee. I intentionally stain a pristine white page in my sketchbook with my morning brew. That may seem like a terrible waste of tree pulp and caffeine to some, but to me, it’s a creative opportunity just waiting to happen.

Not all of my irregular java juice patterns and splatter marks are usable. However, there is always at least one curiously shaped splotch that grips my imagination, leading to a jolt of creative inspiration.

Step 2

Once I identify the most aesthetically appealing coffee stain among my splashy experiments, I make sure it’s completely dry. Then I cover the entire pattern with black acrylic paint, which enables me to easily transfer it to my canvas. If I’m feeling artistically amazing that day, I transfer the pattern via a freehand sketch. Sometimes, though, I rely on a projector if the stain is really elaborate.

jette-reinert-graph-paper-coffee-stain-sketch

Step 3

As you can see in my preliminary sketch, I rotated my coffee-stained page 90 degrees. Why? Because just LOOK at the figure that was begging to be discovered by me! This is a perfect example of creative kismet, coupled with my imagination taking flight. I couldn’t resist adding a few additional flourishes to the pre-existing stain because that’s part of the fun of being an artist! Lately, I’ve been enjoying creating double-canvas compositions, and this one definitely fits the bill.

There is no doubt that I am an artist who appreciates whimsy. I convey that essence through my muses various poses, their partially unconventional skin tones, and the many details that seem to coax their personalities to the forefront.

jette-reinert-detailed-sketch

Step 4

My main goal during this part of my sketching process is to figure out how to incorporate a checkerboard pattern – which is part of my signature aesthetic – into my composition. It’s a fun but also practical creative exercise. In a way, it’s like solving a puzzle. I determine through experimentation if the various patterns I’m including in a single composition will look better on human figures or animals. More importantly, I want them to look cohesive and pleasing to the eye.

jette-reinert-transferred-pattern-on-canvas

I love the visual evolution of a work of art, and how the great celestial muse takes us in directions that are always unexpected.

Step 5

Now you can see that I’ve transferred my coffee-stained sketch onto a raw linen canvas. It’s at this moment that I thought, “Hey, what if I create a partially abstract painting? Hmmm….interesting…maybe that could work?!”

jette-reinert-two-joined-canvases

Step 6

Remember how I mentioned earlier – in Step 3 – that this is a double-canvas composition? Well, here is the left canvas joined to the right side (each one measures 100 x 80 cm). I’ve glammed up the left side with a black acrylic backdrop and metal leaf accents. Some of the raw linen is peeking through – intentionally! – because contrasting elements are an artist’s best friend. For now, this abstract part of my painting is complete, but of course that could change if a new lightning bolt of inspiration strikes me.

jette-reinert-sketch-refinements-canvas

Step 7

Boy, this painting is really starting to take shape, isn’t it? These shots depict the minor modifications that I’ve made during the sketching process, including tweaking the garment that my muse is wearing. Because, as we all know, any self-respecting lady needs to make sure that her belt will accommodate a massive machete. Imagination is a beautiful thing.

Any artist loves laying down the details to make their piece really pop, and I am no different.

Step 8

It’s at this point that I apply a white acrylic base coat to my muse. Why? White neutralizes the playing field, so to speak. It helps me to determine if the various components in my sketch are working – especially the contrasting patterns that I frequently like to integrate. Allowing a composition to marinate in my mind and on my easel enables me to slowly but surely find more obvious design solutions.

Additionally, not all palettes are immediately obvious to an artist. Staring at a painted white figure – which is sort of like a ‘blank slate’ – actually helps me to catch the true pulse of my painting. Yup, this can take a while, but I always end up finding my way.

Step 9

Who doesn’t love a liberal lashing of metallic glitz? This is the point when I lay down my copper and gold leaf, observing the way that those two tones play off each other. That enables me to get a good sense of the earthy palette that I’m going to incorporate into my painting. Before long, I begin adding lots of layers of color to enhance my muse’s boots, belt, and trousers, the latter of which transforms from a mossy green to a deciduous forest tone.

I love the visual evolution of a work of art, and how the great celestial muse takes us in directions that are always unexpected. That’s why certain splashes in the backdrop of my painting morph into small fish, dogs, and even some very delicious cherry-topped muffins! Because…why not? The creative process is fun!

Some of the raw linen is peeking through – intentionally! – because contrasting elements are an artist’s best friend.

Step 10

Any artist loves laying down the details to make their piece really pop, and I am no different. At this stage, you can see how I’m bringing in more color, shadow, and depth, plus fun little accents like the checkerboard pattern on the coat as well as bold-colored dots and stitches around the base of the boots.

We can’t forget my muse’s travelling companions, both of which are taking shape quite nicely. And of course, look at the f a b u l o u s l y glitzy spear that my muse is holding (no…not the rose….the actual weapon in her other hand)! Clearly she’s prepared for whatever life throws at her…stylishly of course.

Jette-Reinert-Acrylic-Painting-Detail

Step 11

These three panels highlight the swirls, textures, and flourishes that are a consistent part of my lighthearted artistic repertoire…plus my kitty has finally grown her downy soft coat. There is no doubt that I am an artist who appreciates whimsy. I convey that essence through my muses various poses, their partially unconventional skin tones, and the many details that seem to coax their personalities to the forefront. It makes perfect sense the thumbnails of this particular muse are painted bright fuchsia, and that I’ve added tiny cherries to the top of each flying cake in the background. One of the most wonderful parts of the art making process is having creative eureka moments!

jette-reinert-catfish-rose-painting
jette-reinert-final-two-panel-painting

Allowing a composition to marinate in my mind and on my easel enables me to slowly but surely find more obvious design solutions.

Step 12

Hooray! My completed painting – entitled “Catfish and Rose: It Can Only Be Good” – is finally joined together, and ready to lift the spirits of the person who officially adopts it! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to see how my artistic process works, from concept to completion.♥️

I try to bring little waves of joy to my audience, or simple reminders that life is just a little too serious. In a way, my art is a form of encouragement – it urges us to definitely laugh whenever we can, eat the cookies, and do all of the things that captured our hearts back when we were young enough to know better! I hope that my master plan worked and that you are smiling from ear to ear!

Jette Reinert Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Instagram

About Author

Longtime eco-journalist, art wordsmith and creativity connoisseur. Anything that hovers in the right-brained spectrum or is born out of unbridled imagination elevates my spirit. I probably revere mother nature's ever-changing shazaamy brush strokes more than the average humanoid. Technicolor art supplies make me weak in the knees, as do wet-nosed luvvies.

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