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            fine art and custom murals by Jennifer Jolliff

So, you want to know about the woman on the other end of the paint brush? I am an Alaskan. I paint murals in homes, paint pictures for sale and commission and dabble in various media of printmaking. When I am not painting for a specific commission, my preference is to paint "what is not there." I do not consider myself a reproductionist. Although I have great esteem for people who paint exact copies of a landscape, or capture the inner glow of a bowl of fruit, my own interest lies inside my head where unlikely scenarios unfold and fanciful creatures are free to comingle. These are the characters of my artwork and their imagined antics are what I take most pleasure in depicting.

Like so many in Anchorage, I am a transplant. I came to Alaska seeking adventure and wild places, and happily found both. I enjoy hiking, telemark skiing and snowshoeing in the mountains around Anchorage, and sea kayaking each Summer in Prince William Sound. The beauty of Alaska inspires my artwork, but it is the playful nature of its inhabitants, both human and animals which is more likely to show its face in my paintings.

Photo of Jen
I got my start in the creative business world while in college in Middlebury, VT when Ian Moore and I started Gimme Dat Hat Company as a dorm-room sweat shop in 1990. Our fleece elf and dwarf fleece hats sold well around campus my last couple of years in college, so after graduation I took our products to the greater New England marketplace, selling wholesale to sports shops and galleries.

Ian and I moved up here to Alaska in 1994 and Gimme Dat Hat Co. really took off. I found that my true delight in the hat business lay in the designing of new hats. I added two dozen whimsical Alaskan animals to the hat line and began selling in gift shops from Bardarson Studio in Seward to the King Eider Hotel on St. Paul Island. We sewed Alaska Flag hats for one catalog, polar bears for another and pretty soon the company had thirty or forty wild animal styles from bulldog to wallaby to lobster; I never turned down a request.

Our Workshop and House: click to enlarge

In 1999, Ian and I bought 75 acres of ridge and hilltop property outside Anchorage and began the new laborious yet creative task of building our own home. We felled trees, milled timbers, cut joints and pegged together our timberframe shop the next year.

All good things must come to an end, and summer of 2001 I shut down the hat factory, deciding to shift my lifelong quest for creativity to painting murals. I had studied printmaking at the University here for several years and had done a number of commissioned door murals for friends and neighbors, but realized that while working at Gimme Dat Hat and also working as an activities therapist for a psych hospital, I wasn't ever going to get far with my artwork unless I devoted myself to it.

The artwork shown on these and other pages of my website serve as a glimpse into the work I have been doing in the past couple of years. Please feel free to contact me with any ideas of how my artwork might fit into your home or place of business.

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