Jennifer O’Cualain is a prolific painter of all things natural. Her popular wildlife paintings convey the honest physical characteristics of many species ranging from field mice to bison. “I enjoy painting ‘portraits’ of animals. It’s amazing how truly unique each creature is… how each has its own personality, just as we do. I love to create scenes in which my animals are experiencing human emotions. I am also a bit of an anthropomorphist. The feel of fur under your hand is a relatively universal goal, but I want my viewer to get a sense of the individual animal.”
After graduating from Arizona State University in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in painting, Jennifer continued to attend figure drawing classes. As a people portrait artist throughout high school and college, she knew that one day her love of animals would need to become a larger part of her everyday life. By combining years of experience as a professional portrait artist and her love of animals, Jennifer became a Wildlife Artist.
“Traveling has allowed me to get close to animals in the wild in a way like I’d never expected. Last year I stood 10 feet away from a mature Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep while visiting Glacier National Monument. He stood only briefly while I stared in awe. I could see deep into his big dark eyes. This majestic wild animal had no fear of me, in fact, I almost felt as if he were as curious about me as I was about him. I feel an absolutely real sense that there is much more communication between humans and animals than anyone really considers.”
Jennifer has won countless awards for her work including a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Southern California at Laguna Beach, a full scholarship to attend Arizona State University and a cash scholarship offered only once by critically acclaimed James Reynolds, CAA. More recently, Jennifer was honored with the “Animals Award of Excellence” at the 2010 National Exhibition for Oil Painters of America.