Jean Blackmer is a multitalented artist who works in many mediums. Her interests include: painting in all mediums, with watercolor the preferred medium, jewelry, wood carving with a knife, power carving, stained glass, sculpting and making dolls, pottery and basket weaving. Her earliest memory of creating art was when she drew a rooster and colored it in first grade.
“I wanted to go to art school but did not, because when I graduated from high school, I was the third child and there was no money for college. In my hometown, there was a regular high school and a vocational high school that offered an LPN with free tuition to residents who were born in the city of Northampton, Mass., so I enrolled in nursing school and graduated in 1969,” she said. “For 21 years I worked as a psychiatric nurse until we moved to Newnan, Ga., in 1976. During those years, I painted in oils, acrylics, wood-sculpting, and would participate in craft shows across Georgia occasionally.”
In 1984, her family moved to North Augusta, where she continued to work and create art in her free time. She did craft shows such as Aiken’s Makin’ and the H. Odell Weeks Activity Center’s Christmas craft show in Aiken, and she participated in a craft show in Conyers, Ga.
Later, Blackmer started working part-time and decided to attend Augusta Technical College. She graduated in 1991 with a 4.0 grade point average. She received the Leadership Award and earned a graphic arts degree. She started working for the Lower Savannah Council of Governments in Aiken as its graphic artist, which included the offices of the area’s Council on Aging, Thoroughbred Country Tourism office and Workforce Development. While working there, Blackmer’s original watercolors were featured in the Thoroughbred Country Visitors Guide for more than 10 years.
In 2005, Blackmer retired to pursue her artwork. Today, she is making her own line of jewelry after being inspired by attending gemstone shows with friends.
“I bought some jewelry and decided I could do the wire work,” she said. “I started making my own jewelry and in April, opened my shop on Etsy.com.”
Her works are available at the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta’s gift shop, Art on Broad in Augusta and the Savannah Rapids Visitors Center in Augusta.
She is concentrating on learning the craft of making lamp work beads.
“I like my jewelry to be totally my own creation,” she said.
This year, she plans to practice her bead-making and sell at shows. She also plans on continuing her watercolor painting and painting for her family, especially from moments she photographs during family visits and trips.
“I’m like that saying, ‘jack of all trades, master of none,’” she said.
Blackmer can be reached at email@example.com. Visit her Web site at FineArtAmerica.com.