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Local artist expresses story and emotion through paint

By Veronica Burniston
Freelance Writer

One of Johnson County Art Center’s gifted painters, Jeana Chapman, unveils the magic of human emotion and her deep-rooted love for art through a paintbrush. Born in White Plains, New York, Jeana grew up in a family which greatly encouraged the arts. Her father was an engineer as well as a very talented painter. Her mother worked for the U.S. Government’s Rural Electrification Administration, eventually becoming the first woman Field Representative in East Texas.

To this day, Jeana’s mother is her “biggest inspiration. Along with her sister Cyndi, Jeana spent most of her childhood “growing up all around the country.” Her family lived in various locations, from California to Louisiana to the outskirts of Washington D.C.

Although Jeana neither attended an art school nor pursued painting as a career, she discovered a joy for creation and storytelling through the medium. She related painting to a journey of uncovering the people, story, and emotion behind what’s happening on her canvas.

“If you have the urge to paint, you have the chance to make art,” Jeana said. “You just get lost in it, and you enjoy it. I never know what’s going to happen. I always surprise myself.” She chuckled before adding, “If I can [do it], you can.”

In 2016, after her mother’s passing, Jeana and her husband, Lewis, relocated from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Mountain City, Tennessee, to be closer to her father. After dabbling in local art avenues, such as the Art Depot in Abingdon and a handful of nearby farmers’ markets, Jeana and Lewis learned about the new Johnson County Art Center and quickly got involved.

In addition to donating a handful of paintings to the Art Center for gift baskets, Jeana recently finished a piece for the upcoming Heritage Square Scavenger Hunt this June, based on the children’s book “Lorraine” written by Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor.

“Don’t overthink [art]. If you enjoy it, don’t be afraid to do it,” Jeana said. “Don’t let anything get in your way of getting your feelings out on some medium.”

For more information about the Johnson County Art Center and its many talented artists, visit its website.