Jeanne Hedington can’t count the number of works she has completed because they are too numerous. And after over four decades she is still busy producing more works of art and is winning awards on a regular basis.
When asked about her life’s work Jeanne quietly speaks of these accomplishments and then quickly moves on to share with enthusiasm the stories that lie behind the works that are displayed on the gallery’s walls and in photographs in her fascinating table top album.
There’s the little girl who although dressed like a cowboy is quite unaware that she has put her grandfather’s boots on the wrong feet. Then there’s the ballet dancer whose nervousness is subtly portrayed through the tension in her shoulders and arms as she sits and waits her turn and there’s the teenage ball player who quietly defies the very attention he craves while posing for his three-in-one portrait.
While Jeanne’s work includes portraits of celebrities such as Cesar Romero, Della Reese, Sherry Lewis, Michael Landon, Vincent Price and many more, her portrayals of people who are less famous glow with just as much energy and life.
One facet of Jeanne’s work that is apparent is that Jeanne is not afraid of contrasts like light and shadow. The shadows on the faces of the people in her portraits speak as loudly as the features that are illuminated with glowing light. They add a depth and richness that is seldom seen in portrait work.
Perhaps this is because Jeanne knows firsthand the strength of the enduring human spirit. From age 9 to 13, Jeanne spent much of her time in Children’s Orthopedic Hospital undergoing treatment for polio. At age 17 she lost her father to a swimming accident. In the late 1950s, she lost her husband, professional baseball player, Bob Hedington, and was left with three young sons to raise on her own. Then in 1975 her house burned and she lost all work contained in it.
When asked how she endured these losses, Jeanne tells the story of how she just kept going. She tells how she got her big break in 1962 when she was hired as a portrait artist by Disney Corporation. During the seven month fair held at Seattle Center she made 1,659 portraits. She tells how she went on to work in another world’s fair in Spokane in 1974 and how she has participated in mall shows in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. She also comments on her work producing technical illustrations at Boeing, Seattle and her work as an art therapist in psychiatric hospitals. She radiates when she speaks of how she used her skill as a portrait artist to pay her way as she has traveled through the United States, twelve European countries and Mexico.
Jeanne’s works (pastels, oils and sculptures) have been shown at Fry Art Museum in Seattle, Burien Gallery, Seahurst Gallery, Issaquah Gallery, Pacific Northwest Show in Bellevue, Edmonds Art Fair, Puyallup Fair, and Southwest Washington Fair.
In 1996, 1997 and 1999 Jeanne won three grand prize awards from Grumbacher, a nationally recognized art supply company. In 1997 and 1998 she won First Prize at the Burien Gallery. In 1999 she took first prize at Seahurst Gallery and in 2000 she won the Gallery Committee Choice Award at Seahurst Gallery. She has also been a top seller at Seattle Center House and has been an art instructor for Highline Community College and in senior center and park department courses.
If you are interested in scheduling a portrait appointment you may phone Jeanne Hedington at 206.242.7065.