Scratchboard Art by JEANINE NAHRA
J e a n i n e N a h r a
Jeanine Nahra was born in Davenport, Iowa. Davenport, like New Orleans is a metropolitan area located along the Mississippi River. Jeanine moved to New Orleans in 1980 and now considers it her adopted home.
Jeanine began drawing at an early age, taking basic art lessons at the Davenport Museum of Art while still in the primary grades. After receiving her degree from Marycrest College in Davenport, Jeanine moved to New Orleans to pursue painting and sketching full time.
Despite working in many mediums, including oils, watercolors and pen and ink, since 1973 her primary interest has been the meticulous art form of scratchboard. When working with scratchboard, the board itself is heavily coated with a layer of white china clay and then black india ink is applied where Jeanine wants to work. After allowed to dry the image is scratched in. With some pieces the entire board is covered with a smooth coating of black india ink. Jeanine uses a sharp pen -like object to etch thousands and thousands of delicate lines through the ink surface into the clay layer. Jeanine must concentrate on the negative as the lines reveal the light areas. At times she must use a magnifying glass to refine the intricate detail. Out of a mass of black emerges the artwork, literally scratched into existence.
Jeanine specializes in scratchboards of animals both domestic and wild, and has added another dimension to her art by using subtle color to emphasize the delicate lines. Her creativity captures the natural beauty and majesty of the animals as well as the fascinating characteristics of flowers and landscapes.
Since deciding to sell and exhibit her work professionally, Jeanine's artwork has received international recognition. She has sold her artwork to public, private, and corporate collections throughout the world. Recently the Franklin Mint published a collection of collectors plates and a collection of pocket knives of her work.