Jody Rohr

As a child Jody was exposed to, and inspired by, her mother and grandmother’s paintings.  During her grade school years art was her favorite subject followed by reading and music.  By doodling horses on her elementary school papers during class (when she was supposed to be paying attention to the teacher…), and at home, Jody began developing her skills at sketching horses.  In about the sixth grade she was gifted a small book called, simply, How to Draw Horses.  That book was Jody’s introduction to the mechanics of sketching.  Jody took an art class every semester throughout middle and high school.  An occasional honorable mention was earned on her school art.   
Jody took two beginning level art courses as electives at Long Beach City College while working on an Associates Degree.  It was in one of these classes that she grew to detest acrylic painting.  Some of her paintings were okay, but most of them were forced as assignments rather than inspired by a spirit of love, so they lacked somehow.  The pallet required by the instructor was very hard to work with and 16” X 20” paper was required.  None of this was comfortable for Jody, who was used to 8.5” X 11” paper and greyscale.  Jody became convinced that she would never be a painter. 
When Jody decided on a major at Long Beach City College, it was Welding Technology.  She took on the role there, in the welding shop, of the Art Metal Club president.  Jody still would like to do art metal sculpting but she lacks a suitable workshop. 
During Jody’s college years at Cal Poly, Pomona and during her child-rearing years, she didn’t produce much art, but the longing to do so would overwhelm her now and then.  Those inspired moments were almost always put to use making pen and ink or graphite images of horses and goats.   
An obsession with Breyer Model horses lead to a Breyerfest workshop which taught her how to customize and repaint Breyer models.  This involves sculpting as well as painting skills. 
Customizing models was the main artistic endeavor for a lot of years while Jody’s daughters were young.  Then, out of a desire to expand her skills, and out of boredom with graphite and pen and ink, Jody tried water coloring her horse images and found that she was reasonably good at it with very little instruction on how to do it.  This was exciting to her but she became frustrated with the lack of colors available in the kid’s water color trays.  The primary and secondary colors just weren’t working for her. 

In time a book on color theory was purchased.  The knowledge about color theory, which had been taught in the college classes but lost to Jody’s memory, was revisited.  Suddenly, the kids’ water color trays held the colors needed to make more colors than what was in the trays.  This took Jody’s water color paintings to a higher level and increased her confidence in all of her artistic endeavors. 
Jody’s daughters proved to be highly artistic and both of them earned the highest honors in high school art.  Each of them had a senior showcase which  placed first.  The younger of the two daughters went on to get a bachelor’s degree in art, with a focus on ceramics.  The talent of Jody’s daughters inspired her to want to make more art.  Then she read a quote from one her high school classmate’s daughters.  The youngster was lamenting having to go to first grade.  Her father asked why?  She said, “All I want to do is color…”.  The wise father replied, “Don’t we all Honey?  Don’t we all…”  This story hit Jody so profoundly that she made the decision to stop wasting time and the precious opportunity available to her, and to start making art more seriously.   
Painting was something like a mystery and it was a challenge.  Jody also feared that her attempts at painting would be failures.  But Jody’s desire to paint just grew stronger over time.  Finally, with a totally empty nest and the time and resources available, Jody tried oil painting.  It was challenging and scary but, with a pallet of her choosing and subject matter she wanted to paint, it proved to be satisfying; even addictive.  It only took about three paintings, which she considers practice and learning experiences, to turn out an oil painting which she considers very good.  It has won a first place ribbon in two shows.  The first one was at the Holmes County library but Jody doesn’t want to highlight that win much because she was the only adult to submit a piece of art in that competition.  The second win was at the Walnut Hills show in 2019.  There Jody won first with her oil painting of Trigger, and a second place with her acrylic painting of an abandoned car. 
Two acrylic paintings later Jody produced the “Retired Auto” painting which won an Award of Mention at the Tuscarawas County Art Guild Fall Exhibit.  
Jody says of her passion for painting, “This is a dream come true for me.  I didn’t know that I could paint like this.  I’m eager to expand my skills and to continue to paint simply because I love it so much.”  For more information contact Jody at elfhild61@embarqmail.com

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