Meet the artist – Jenny Stevens

Artist Jenny Stevens

Keeping the thrill and excitement alive with all new puzzles coming up every once in a while. PuzzQuest is back with another unique set of puzzles and this time, we have taken a more close-to-the-nature approach. For a puzzler, there is nothing more satisfying than putting together a face or a shape that comes together to form a state-of-the-art photograph.

Introducing our newest artist to join PuzzQuest Jenny Stevens; with her keen eye for the perfect subjects, locations, and equipment, she is taking over the nature and wildlife photography scene. We are proud to have her as one of the contributors at PuzzQuest and cannot wait to introduce her to our readers;

Behind every creative photographer, there’s someone who ignited the passion in them by appreciating their art in all its raw and amateur glory when no one else did at the very early stage. All it takes is one mediocre piece of equipment paired with unmatched talent and an unstoppable motivation to make everyone see the world through your lens. That’s how Jenny’s journey as a photographer started when her parents gave her a brand new Eastman Kodak Brownie on her 14th birthday. Though it didn’t come with the aperture control or focusing abilities, it set the foundation for her interest and the desire to polish her skill as a photographer. 

However, it was only a few years ago when she took on photography full-time and realized that wildlife was her calling; especially the bears. Let’s dig deep and get to know about her journey as a photographer, the struggles she faced, and her feelings about pairing up with PuzzQuest.

  1. How did you discover your love for art and where did it all begin?

On my 14th birthday, my parents gave me a brand new Eastman Kodak Brownie. Though these were humble cameras with no aperture control or focusing abilities, amounting to essentially little more than cardboard boxes with a simple meniscus lens, they made photography accessible to everyone. As my first camera, I used it for the rest of my childhood, mainly taking photos of friends and family.

The Brownie ignited my love of photography, and throughout my life and travels, I’ve continued developing my knowledge and skill, focusing on landscapes and the natural world.

After retiring in 2003, I traveled by icebreaker through the Northwest Passage and was encouraged by the ship’s photographer to pursue professional wildlife photography. I took several workshops with him and found my niche. Wildlife photography is my thing, and thrills me continuously. I am at peace in the wilderness and a special space in my heart is reserved for bears.

  1. What sets you apart from the other artists and what’s unique about your art?

The truth is my art is not very different from other wildlife photographers. Our process is just as much about the experience leading up to the photograph as the result itself. The support and camaraderie I experience on group expeditions are equally valuable to the images I capture alongside my peers.

3. What’s an average day like in the life of an artist?

An average day might be hard to quantify as I spend about 2 weeks of each year traveling, exploring and shooting, and around one to two months in editing those photographs upon returning home.

4. What’s your favorite of your work of yourself till date?

The photo of a cheetah with her three cubs I took on the side of the road in Namibia in 2018 is my all-time favourite. Shortly following this photograph, our group was lucky enough to witness her chase down and catch an impala. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Namibia in 2018

5. Which artist is your all-time favourite?

Yousuf Karsh is an established, well-known portrait photographer and is my favourite. He’s active from the 1930s-1990s.

6. What’s your biggest achievement regarding art so far and something you’re most proud of?

For the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, the Royal Mint issued 13 special edition ten-dollar silver coins representing each province and territory. One of my bear photographs was selected for the coin of British Columbia. It was a real proud moment.

Canadian Confederation, the Royal Mint

7. What is your biggest motivation behind your creativity?

Nature. I never feel very creative indoors, unless I’m at home editing my photographs.

8. What do you love most about this field?

The adventure aspect of it is what I love the most. I experience things I never could have imagined; like being four feet from a grizzly bear, or watching a mother cheetah catch food for her young ones in Namibia.

9. What would you say is your field of expertise when it comes to art?

I love wildlife photography of all kinds, but my true passion lies with bears.

10. Is there anything you find challenging about art?

Weather! It can make or break an excursion, and when I plan for months in advance to shoot for only a few days, it can be a nerve-wracking challenge.

11. Is there an artist you want to work with or a special place you want to capture?

In February/March, there’s a brief window of time in which polar bear cubs emerge with their mothers from their dens for the first time. To reach these remote locations can be a very difficult trek, and the timing is very difficult to perfect. But if I were able, I would go on that expedition to attempt to capture photographs of the babies as they first enter the world.

12. A piece of advice for aspiring self-taught artists?

In the digital age, you can take as many photographs as you want. Keep going until something sparks that light. And as you progress, equipment is key.

13. Any upcoming exciting projects that we should look forward to?

In May 2022, I’ll be going to Khutzemateen National Park in British Columbia to photograph grizzly bears and their cubs.

14. What made you move forward with PuzzQuest and creating puzzles of your work?

When PuzzQuest approached me, I was thrilled at the quality they provide, so I agreed to have my art used for their product!

PuzzQuest is ecstatic to have such a talented and brilliant photographer joining the team. We are featuring three of her stunning wildlife pieces; Blue Jay Speed, Grizzly Pounce, Grizzly stroll. All of these have been well throughout, perfectly timed, and exceptionally executed from conceiving the idea till the editing process.

For all the Jigsaw geeks, this is the opportunity for you to wake your inner wilderness and have an amazing time putting these pieces together.