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Our One-Year Anniversary Exhibition is now OPEN! The new exhibit showcases the amazing works of art from our Resident Artists! Seeing 2020, stop by the gallery today!

If you missed the last show, you can still view through our virtual gallery tour! 


The New RPAC Virtual Gallery is Live.  Click here to View.


Jen Ripa

Artist Statement

Painting has been an essential part of my life for close to 30 years. My favorite mediums are acrylic and oil painting. My works range from very abstract and expressive pieces painted primarily with acrylic paint to representational painting from nature in oil. The main focus of my work is to capture the mood or feeling I am experiencing and convey that feeling visually. I hope that the viewer gains a sense of awe, wonder, or an opening of the heart when engaging with one of my paintings. 

My abstract works in acrylic are very layered. I enjoy the rapid drying aspect of acrylic paints and the fact that once dry, the layers of paint are immutable. The layers for me often represent different emotions, periods, or perspectives. Human beings are very layered, and experiences themselves are multifaceted. The acrylic paint allows me to explore this concept, and I am often very intentional in my work about what each layer of paint is representing to me. 

My works in oil draw from life and, more specifically, from nature. I am incredibly moved by the indescribable beauty found in the natural world and hope to convey that sense of awe and appreciation when I paint. It's more important that a painting feels the way I intend rather than look precisely like what I am painting. 

Some of my primary influences in painting are Winslow Hower, Mary Cassat, Hilma Af Klint, Andrew Wyeth, Charles Burchfield, Jasper Johns, Mary-Beth Mackensie, and Flore Bowley. One of my earliest painting teachers was deeply influenced by Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth. I am drawn to the heaviness and density of Winslow Homer's paintings, his mastery of light and form, and the way he portrays the ocean in oil. The works of Mary Cassat convey strong emotion from the female subjects' point of view, and her brush strokes are visible and immediate. For me, the subject and artist merge as if in a mutually supportive conversation. Hima Af Klint's use of paint and symbolism, the sheer size and boldness of her work, and her ability to convey mystical and spiritual concepts influence my work significantly. I am captivated by the sense of the mysterious and magical that Andrew Wyeth expresses in his paintings and by his limited yet moving color palette. Charles Burchfield brought sound and feelings of rapture into his drawings and paintings. When I interact with his works, I feel transported to the location of his paintings in a multi-sensory way. Jasper Johns' use of symbols as a surface and his ability to shift our relationship to their meaning was groundbreaking for me. Also, the way he blends colors and reveals brushstrokes impacts me powerfully. Mary-Beth Mackensie has an incredible way of imbuing mood into her portraits that moves me like very few artists' work can. I also really appreciate the painterly approach in her work and our stable connection to her brush strokes and knife work. Flora Boley uses symbols, layers of paint, and abstract expressionism to convey emotion and subconscious meaning in an incredibly impactful way. 

My general philosophy with painting is that I need to be moved by the process of creating the painting and by the final art itself. I work at a pace that is quick enough to be engaging yet slow enough to capture details of light and form where that is important. It was a long struggle in my career as an artist to come from a place of deep emotion with my work, and an overfocus on technique returns me to the space of over-thinking and over-analyzing. When I remain in the flow state and in a balance between heart and mind, I am pleased with the process of painting and pleased with the final result.

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