This month we are featuring Jenny Nordstrom for the Capitol Hill Art League’s Mind of the Artist blog. Read Jenny’s story and check out her artwork below.

You can view more of Jenny’s artwork here:
Mexico San Miguel

Like many artists, I have been creative most of my life — I was the kid whose idea of an awesome playdate was to spend the whole time drawing with a friend.  Over the years, I experimented with painting and drawing, weaving, jewelry making, sewing, and sculpture, among others — and landed for many years in ceramics (including a long stint as a “permanent” student at Eastern Market Pottery). But my late husband was a serious amateur photographer, and that sealed the deal for me — with nice cameras around, and an adorable new subject (my baby daughter, who is now 17), I started focusing in on photography as a hobby, and finally as a career. I moved on from my graphic design job into portrait photography — and a few years ago I became a full time fine art photographer. And this finally feels like I’m completely where I am supposed to be.

Morocco Sahara Sand Dune

I like to tell people that I am a fine art photographer because of Iceland. When I went there, I had been passionate about photography for years, especially travel photography. But in Iceland, I was hugely inspired — my mind completely blown by the amazing landscapes and wild beauty of this gorgeous country. One day on my trip, I had the classic lightning bolt moment, and realized — THIS IS MY CALLING. And the second epiphany that came moments later, was that — despite knowing how much I loved photography — I had never really tried to make a living from the artistic work that spoke to me so deeply. So I came home from Iceland determined. I started taking business classes for artists, refined my messaging, re-prioritized my efforts — and things started happening. I was awarded a couple of solo art shows. I was featured in some media, and won spots in group exhibitions. And finally, two years after Iceland, the game changer happened — I was invited to become a resident artist at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. It has been a joyful and inspiring time, and I am always honored and humbled to be there, and to be making a living as an artist.

Lonely Tree

The first thing most people comment on when they see my photography is the color, and I agree — I think color is the beating heartbeat of my work.  (My favorite color is all of them!)  Many people know me also for my travel photography, and beyond that, I have a niche as the “Door Lady.”  Yes, I take pictures of doors, all over the world — for more than two decades.  They are endlessly fascinating to me, kind of like the people behind them.  I think this is because, while there is rarely anybody in my fine art images, I am a huge people person — and as a result, I am much more interested in neighborhoods than monuments.

Capitol Hill-Two Doors

I lived on Capitol Hill for twenty years, and despite moving to Brookland several years ago, the Hill still feels like home.  I have always loved wandering the streets, trying to capture the neighborhood’s beautiful architecture and historic feel.  Every year, I create a wall calendar of Capitol Hill, my annual love letter to the neighborhood. (  (I have notecards too!)


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