Artist Showcase: Jenifer Renzel

This artist showcase brings you the 2D and assemblage work of Jenifer Ranzel. If you would like to see your work on, please email



When did your interest in art/creating begin?

I’ve always been interested in art, but didn’t find a medium that really worked for me until I was about 40. A dear friend of ours was doing assemblage art and selling at craft shows. She was diagnosed with cancer, and decided to teach classes on assemblage at her home to bring in some income as she took treatment. I was one of the students in her first course, which is really what got me started in the medium. Our friend did not survive her cancer, but she did leave me with a wonderful gift. That was over ten years ago. In the last two years, I’ve become interested in painting. I took a course from Jesse Reno up in Portland, and fell in love with his approach to art. In a nutshell, his approach is to lay down some crazy fabulous background without having a direction in mind. Then, as the background begins to take shape, you let the subject of the painting reveal itself and you begin working in that direction.



What is your starting point for each piece?

With the assemblages, the starting point is often a single compelling item such as a skull, a weird toy, a doll part, and so forth. Alternatively, the starting point is something that just pops into my head. My best ideas often come when letting my mind wander before bedtime, when working out, or when traveling. I also like Pinterest or a good old Google image search for quick inspiration. Sometimes my ideas come out of nowhere – I have an active imagination that is always coming up with something.


Circus Contraption

Who/what influences your work?

Influences include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jesse Reno, Hieronymous Bosch, Ron Pippin, Alexander Calder, and H.P. Lovecraft.


The Gorp

What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?

I want them to get a little lost for a moment or two as they let the piece send them somewhere – maybe back in time to childhood or off into a strange future.



What do you think about the term outsider art? Is there a term that you think works better?

Well, its original meaning has been diluted over time. I really enjoy the work of original ‘outsider artists’ who were driven to work because of their inner demons and without the ‘interference’ of formal training. I use this label for my art because it’s the most common term out there, but I’m not sure it’s the right label. Jesse Reno uses the term ‘modern primitive,’ which I like, but in today’s world of web searches you almost have to use the most common term so you get good search results.


The Ward

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on three ‘vehicle contraptions.’ These are table top assemblages that look like rickety little automobiles with demented puppet-headed drivers.


Elephant Mountain

Where do you see your work taking you in the future?

I will keep making art and evolving my style for the rest of my life – that’s the only thing I know for sure. Like almost every other artist on the planet, I would thrill at the possibility of making art full time (because I’m so successful that my pieces sell for big money). Not quite there yet, but the joy of creation is a big enough payoff in itself.


The Styx

To see more Jenifer’s work, please visit here Deviant Art Gallery by clicking here. You can see more of her assemblages by clicking here.


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