What is the best thing that I love about my work?
The sensuousness of the paint. Color. Deep rich colors. Big, bold gestures.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Being rocked by the ocean on a beautiful day.
What is my greatest fear?
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
That I am so terrible at making, keeping or managing money.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
Cecily Brown is a great painter.
What is my greatest extravagance?
On what occasion would I lie?
To save a life.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
The humdrum stuff like washing brushes and stretching canvases. I ruin a lot of brushes! In terms of actual pieces, I hate losing the freshness that comes so fast early in a painting.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
Right now. Wherever I am.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
I would exchange my body ( but not my mind) for a newer model.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
Keeping at it. During my marriage, all the attention was on my artist husband. Now I’m coming into my own.
Where would I most like to live?
I love living near the sea, no matter which coast. But I would like to move from place to place more often. My environment is often the source of my colors and textures; I’d like to keep changing that up. LOVE ITALY.
What is my most treasured possession?
My house. Barely holding onto it.
What is my most marked characteristic?
My bluntness. I always tell people: “If you don’t want to know what I think, don’t ASK me.” I’m hell in a critique, for example.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
The beach at low tide. A particular favorite is Howe Point, Lincolnville, Maine.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
18 Central, Rockport, Maine
What books influenced my life and how?
Too many to count! I am an avid reader and used to own a bookstore. Jane Eyre was my first serious look at a strong woman. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner was a revelation. A Moveable Feast by Hemingway still makes me want to run away from home.
Who are my favorite writers?
Annie Proulx; Charles Dickens; Anne Tyler; Kent Haruf…
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
The soundtrack to The Hours by Phillip Glass.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
Jane Eyre; Scarlett O’Hara; Bob Dollar (That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx); Anne Elliot (Persuasion by Jane Austen)
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
My daughter, Roxanne Jelenfy
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?
The English Patient has always haunted me and speaks to so much that is wrong with the world.
What role plays art in my life and work?
Art is what has kept me alive these past 5 years. Without painting, I am broken.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My partner, Peter Isnardi.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018?
I would love to work with Cecily Brown. I’d also like to work with the folks at Kala Institute in Berkeley, CA. A recent discovery is the painter Jade’ Fadojutimi on Instagram. I pove her work. I wish there were some serious painters where I live; but there aren’t.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018?
See above. I wish I had met Per Kirkeby, a truly great artist. I’d also like to meet Martin Puryear, whose powerful work I’ve always loved. I know his talented brothers but have never met Martin.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?
I am looking forward to painting steadily through the upcoming winter with my eye on possible inclusion in a new gallery coming to Rockland, Maine and a two-person exhibit at Frank Brockman Gallery, Brunswick, Maine.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018?
My studio in Washington, Maine; Instagram, Facebook Saatchi Art and jelenfy.weebly.com
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
Well, never giving up springs to mind. A commitment to and pursuit of lifelong learning is another slice of it.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Linda Packard, Bangor Maine; Abbie Read, Appleton, Maine;
Cecelia Bucca, Vermont.
How can you contact me?