Artist Biography & Statement
Kretschmer, AIA is a native of the South Bay Area. She studied art and
architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While at Cal Poly she
studied watercolor painting beginning with architectural renderings.
She also studied landscape painting, figure drawing, and still life.
Today she is both an artist and a licensed architect.
Jennifer has exhibited her paintings in local and national venues and has received awards for her work including: Blossom 2 – The Art of Flowers: Naples Museum of Art and the 2010 LGAA Open Juried Show.
Painting and artistic expression has always been a part of my life. As a child I figure skated, played piano and was always drawing. I also enjoyed math and science. This eventually led to a career in architecture where I am able to be both artistic and technical. But, as the technical side of being an architect began to dominate my daily work, I rediscovered painting to balance the artistic side of my life.
I primarily paint in the media of watercolor and tend to enjoy painting still life subjects.
On occasion I paint plein air (outdoor painting on location) and painting demonstrations at local galleries and art festivals.
I also carry a camera with me to take photos of interesting things I see around me. I often paint from these reference photos. I've found that sometimes the worst photos make the best paintings because I don't feel the need to try to replicate a bad photo. Instead I have the freedom to explore new colors or change the value (darks and lights) and contrast of the original image.
For example, the subject of the painting "Yellow Rose" was a rose I cut from my yard and brought it inside just before the start of a rather nasty storm. I took the reference photo at night on my dining room table. The photo was small and blurry. In the painting I exaggerated the contrast in order to give the flower more depth and brightened the colors so that it looked more like daylight.
In the painting, "Princeton Plaza Orchids," the reference photo was taken on a rainy day from the outside of a closed flower shop window. You can see in the photo on the left that glare from the window showed up in the photo and the background is rather dull. I decided to make the background full of color and contrast."