Jeannie Maddox Studio
"Is it a painting or a photograph?" This is the most asked question about the larger than life oil paintings of Jeannie Maddox that have been capturing the attention of art festival crowds for the past 33 years.
"To the viewer, my paintings appear to focus on photo realism. As an artist, my journey is through small abstract areas of shape, color and contrast, that, when completed and taken as a whole constantly surprise me by becoming hyper-real. I often say that I am a photo realistic painter who paints abstractly!"
Jeannie grew up in Dothan, Alabama, and always knew she wanted to be an artist. From the times she was called on to do the backdrops for school plays to being voted most talented in her High School yearbook, there was never any doubt that she would be an artist.
Jeannie and her husband Sam have been showing her work professionally since graduating from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri in 1969. Among her more than 125 awards are best on painting at Miami's Coconut Grove (5), Winter Park, Disney's Festival of the Masters (2), Art and the Alabama Woman (2), Gasparilla in Tampa, Arts Quest in Destin (4), Destin Festival of the Arts (3). Among her best show awards are Deland, Montgomery (3) Enterprise and Dothan.
The works are based on photographs that both Jeannie and Sam take form their travels around the country. Once Jeannie has decided on the image and how it will be executed, Sam begins the process of building the armatures. These are cut from cabinet grade Birch plywood. In many cases the canvases are three-dimensional, which involves multiple armatures. Each one is individually stretched and then gessoed and finally screwed together. Some of the larger 4' x 6' 3-D canvases can take as much as 100 hours to build. Jeannie's painting process is Ala Prima, or wet-into-wet, and often range up to 450 hours to complete.
In 1976 Jeannie took some photographs of one of her young art students in a pool. The painting sold immediately and soon art show patrons were going through Jeannie's photos and commissioning a painting. For a period of six years there was a two-year waiting list for these pieces. The most common size that people commissioned was 48" x 70", so Jeannie's work, which took an average of 425 hours literally became larger than life.
One of the turning points for Jeannie was the 1977 Disney Show, when Burdines of Florida bought her complete display. They continued buying for several years and reproduced Jeannie's work to hang in the large atrium areas of the stores that were opening every six months across Florida.
Suddenly Jeannie became one of the most recognizable artists in South Florida. One of those who saw her work was the President of Macy's in New York. After buying his first piece by phone, Jeannie and Sam had the privilege of being official photographers for the Thanksgiving Day Parade and became great friends with the Yalof's in New York. This led to Jeannie's other signature subject matter-her New York Urban Series. Now that many of her collectors who started with one or two Swimmers had to have an urban scene as well.
Galleries in New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and Birmingham, Michigan have represented Jeannie. At the present time Jeannie and Sam market her large oils to a waiting list of clients across the United States and internationally in Japan, Holland, Italy, Germany and Venezuela. Jeannie's Giclee prints have opened up a whole new market for her work and are enjoyed by those who own originals have put Giclees in their businesses and second homes.
Jeannie's work hangs in many private and corporate collections including the Wiregrass Museum or Art (Dothan), The Halifax Museum of Art (Daytona Beach), The State of Alabama Retirement Systems, and the largest law firm of Boston. Her work is also in many prestigious private collections including the former president of Macy's, one of the leading architects in Miami, Barry and Barbara Sugerman, the Vice President of Toshiba, The Hollywood Screenwriter for Roots, and the CEO of the largest boat company in Italy.