Artist Of The Week: Jonelle Summerfield, Destination Painting

 Artist Jonelle Summerfield working in her studio.

Artist Jonelle Summerfield working in her studio.

Commissioned projects turn a collector’s idea into an artist’s masterpiece through a special, collaborative process. In honor of our newly revamped commission page, one of our most-popularly commissioned artists Jonelle Summerfield is our Artist Of The Week. 

For Jonelle Summerfield, everything is inspiration. She has an extremely open mind that finds artistic potential in even the most surprising places – from the foods she eats, to the places she travels, to the kickboxing class she instructs.

When working on a commissioned project, Jonelle’s creative receptiveness, combined with immersive research and ample communication, allows her to turn her client’s vision into a reality.

“Many clients who commission me to paint a picture have an idea of what they want the finished product to look like. I feel that I need to communicate effectively to find out what their vision is,” explains Jonelle.

  Commissioned artwork of an Irish pub by Jonelle Summerfield

Commissioned artwork of an Irish pub by Jonelle Summerfield

Jonelle draws inspiration from her own experiences – even ones she has yet to experience. For a commission project of an Irish pub scene, Jonelle once traveled to Ireland to photograph local pubs and create the proper scene.

“I paint in my style, which means I like to take my own reference photos, if possible. If I can gather my own subject matter, either from the many photos I have taken over the years or by traveling to the place where I can find the subject matter, I do so,” says Jonelle.

  Ladies Night Out  (16" x 12") by Jonelle Summerfield, oil painting

Ladies Night Out (16" x 12") by Jonelle Summerfield, oil painting

She finds a harmony between her personal style and her client’s vision by recreating experiences through travel, communication, and extensive research. Expressing multiple meanings of travel and motion, Jonelle Summerfield has an impressionistic style, investigative wanderlust, and transporting compositions that connect with the memories and visions of her collectors. 

Jonelle upholds longstanding values of impressionism, such as painting fleeting moments, emphasizing light, and employing quick brushstrokes. Her unique brand of contemporary impressionism evokes motion and evades hyper-specificity, allowing the viewer to relate to the painting and provide his or her own interpretation.

“I want the subjects that I paint to be recognizable, but don't want them to look overdone,” says Jonelle.

Jonelle’s quick brushstrokes, simplified representation, and warm colors assemble into, not merely a collector’s vision, but his or her memories, emotions, and experiences. Her paintings achieve representation through sensation. The effect widens the paintings potential for interpretation, an effect that can be diminished by excessive detail.

In style, method, and final product, Jonelle’s artwork is moving. Just as the figures in her paintings appear to always be mid-motion, Jonelle’s interests as a painter are always shifting. Recently, she began a series of paintings of boxers. Since high school, she has practiced martial arts on and off and has started coaching a non-contact kickboxing fitness class. She describes the intricacies that unite martial and visual arts:

“One important aspect to kickboxing is angles of movement, and I believe angles of presentation are important to art. I find it funny that I have to find interesting angles from which to photograph my fellow students who are simultaneously looking for good angles to strike from. It's not just mixed martial arts, it is mixed arts.”


See Jonelle's full portfolio or commission a painting by Jonelle on UGallery.