About Jocelyne Champagne Shiner
Jocelyne Thérese Champagne was born in Camden, New Jersey, November 29, 1960, to French Canadian parents Gilles and Magella (Trépanier) Champagne. New Jersey was a brief stop on a hockey career road for Gilles. He then brought his wife, three other children, and infant Jocelyne, to Knoxville, Tennessee. Eventually the Champagne children numbered 5, and the family became US citizens. While her parents and siblings would later move away, Jocelyne continued to make Knoxville her home for 47 years, where she raised three children of her own. Since leaving Knoxville in 2008, Jocelyne and her husband, Mike Shiner, have lived in Eugene, OR and Vancouver, WA. Currently, Flagstaff, Arizona is home.
B.F.A. in Graphic Design with a minor in Art History from the University of Tennessee in 1994Jocelyne Thérese Champagne was born in Camden, New Jersey, November 29, 1960
The staining red clay of my southern hometown, The patina that life leaves on skin and psyche…
I find joy and a bond in objects and humans that life has weathered to perfection. When retinal and tactile influences converge within me, I am left with a visceral drive that needs to be born into substance. My art emerges. I like to portray raw human emotions that transcend and bind cultures, especially those that exhibit triumph over adversity. Often combined with a figure or elements of the human body is that aspect of nature, or a metaphor of her, that centers and soothes us so completely. Sculpting in wood allows me to meditate and sweat through the process of coaxing a feeling or shape to come to life. The polished surface is similar to skin, which attracts me to the medium. Drawings in graphite on paper are like the tattered veining of hands and butterfly wings, delicate yet strong. Their lightness contrasts with the solidness of form in wood. Assemblage was something that I garnered from my years in the Northwest; in re-use fashion, characters come forth from rubbish and discards. Painting was the birthplace of my art, watercolor being my preference as it reminded me of rain-soaked pigments. Oils have begun to seduce me, and yet another chapter of stories yearns to be brushed into being.
What was the beginning of my becoming an artist? What had so influenced my path and inspired me to pick up a brush. And how does this influence my work now? Well, after I delved deeper into the question, I came to my fundamental starting point. Nature. Really, it was all my years of playing in her woods and fields that gave rise to interest in color and form. It was the years spent with my siblings in that red clay that my mom so hated because it ruined our clothes. But, for me, the velvety texture when it was softened by rain was something of beauty. Our bodies and the streets were our canvasses. And when we kids grew tired of painting with mud, we would romp carefree through the fields and pick the vibrant wildflowers that colored our days. I remember that I loved the deep red ones with the star shape and the fragrant blue ones with the bunched shape. Later I would learn that these were firepinks and wild blue phlox. One of my favorites was a blossom so complex with petals and colors that it must surely be where fairies resided. And those turned out to be "passion flowers."
So, I loved getting my hands, and feet, and knees "dirty," smeared all over with nature's palette. THAT is what inspired me to become an artist. Nature also helped me to cope with my imperfections, shyness and emerging depression. She soothed me with the cooling blues of shade, and energized me with pungent soil and vibrant colors. And when I was introduced to watercolor painting, the birthplace of my art, it was the perfect match. Because it reminded me of rain soaked pigments. The texture of the paper, the graphite underdrawing, the way the paint reticulated as it dried: The process as well as the painting drew me in.