Jess Perna
Traditional Artist

Jess Perna

Jess Perna
Temecula, CA

If I lived for centuries there would not be enough time to create all the art that I am inspired to make. Art is fun! It’s a passionate addiction that grows deeper each year I draw and paint. Even the intense, hard work involved in finding new ways and methods to improve each piece is immensely satisfying. I enjoy painting people in a variety of beautiful and imaginative scenes meant to provoke different moods and emotions in the viewer.



There were many artists who inspired me and whose work I studied carefully. I started as a child drawing from the cartoons I saw in my children’s books. My favorites were Disney Studios and Jim Henson. I learned about composition and how to draw human proportions from “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” by Stan Lee and John Buscema. At 11 I visited the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass and purchased a copy of Rockwell’s “How I Make a Picture” determined to learn all I could of the master’s technique.



My first art commission was when I was six when a neighbor paid 50 cents a card for 100 Santa cartoon holiday cards. At 11 another neighbor paid $50 for a pen and ink of his Briard dog for the cover of Briard of America Club Magazine. By 13 after much practice and frustration I was finally able to achieve a portrait likeness in pencil. Throughout my teens I created many commissioned pencil portraits. My earnings were saved for my first car however I decided to take the train and spend it on art college instead.



On weekly trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art I enjoyed drawing from the old masters paintings and statues. People would gather around to watch me draw. I was shy and acted like I didn't notice the watchful crowd. My brother Mark referred to me as the “The Drawing Boy Exhibit”.



At 15 I applied to Queensborough C.C. and was immediately accepted to the art department. At 16 I transferred to the four year School of Visual Arts in NYC. At 17 they transferred me to the Master’s painting class. I was very fortunate to learn from a master representational artist named Marvin Mattleson whose meticulous methods and clear instruction advanced my skill immensely. I earned a BFA in illustration and fine art.



I’ve worked in almost every medium but what I love most is to paint in oil. I am currently working on a series that I intend to create for many years.



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