My studio is located in Coconut Grove, Miami, FL. The “Grove” is an amazing area of Miami to live in. I am close to the art scene in Wynwood and Miami Beach, but compared to most of Miami the Grove is quiet. With dense foliage – banyan trees, palms and orchids – it has a wonderful tropical feel to it.
It’s always just a little out of control; I find it interesting to see how civilization and the natural landscape interact with one another – tree roots coming up through the concrete, or giant iguanas sitting in peoples manicured front yards. This sort of dichotomy happens to be a major theme in my work, so I am fortunate to have found such a great location to witness it daily. Many artist studios are located in urban or industrial locations and as a landscape painter; I find my jungle-like neighborhood to be very inspiring.
My studio is a funny space, kind of a bungalow really. The fence surrounding my yard and the ceilings of my house and studio are painted with funky designs. My studio is not very large but I do have a great outdoor space and I find myself working outside much more lately. It also has French doors and a lot of windows so the light is wonderful and the ventilation is good. The yard is full of palms, bamboo, and avocado trees. Also, my neighborhood is full of peacocks that visit me daily.
My studio is a peaceful workspace. Having it attached to my home where everything is easily accessible helps to put my mind at ease. I paint every day for at least a few hours. My day usually begins with coffee in the studio, I often do some research and come up with a game plan for working in the studio that day. I then go for a run or sit by the water and I return to paint for a few hours before I have to teach (University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL). And instead of watching TV or eating dinner at the table in the evening, I will often walk over to my studio to stare at some paintings I am working on.
After completing a residency in New York at The League Residency at Vyt, I learned that I really love to have unlimited access to a studio right outside my front door. So when I found this place, it was perfect!
Jena Thomas participated in The League Residency at Vyt.