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Jacqui Henderson's Quirky Artistry Takes Center Stage

by Linda Forrester, January 2024

Introducing Jacqui Henderson, our current CCW Feature Artist. Head over to her profile to check out her artworks.

Butts Out, Acrylic on Canvas

Nestled in the breathtaking beauty of the Whitsundays in Queensland, Australia, Jacqui Henderson emerges as our first captivating Feature Artist, weaving a remarkable tale of artistic discovery and triumph. Born in the UK, raised in NZ, and now a resident of the Whitsundays for over two decades, Jacqui's journey as an artist took an unexpected turn, transforming her from a skeptic to an award-winning Artist.

In 2010, grappling with health issues, Jacqui found solace and joy in an unexpected medium. During a stay at Paradise Bay, Long Island, she received a gift that would alter the course of her life—paints and a canvas. What began as a simple thank-you gesture, a painting of a Curlew for the resort managers, soon led to her first commission. A honeymooning couple from the United States, enchanted by her work, requested a family of Curlews as a memento of their time on Long Island. Jacqui, initially hesitant, took the plunge and exceeded their expectations, marking the beginning of her artistic journey.

In a remarkable five-year span of casual painting, Jacqui achieved a significant milestone, winning First Prize at the Art Whitsundays 2015 Annual Exhibition for her artwork 'Butts Out.' Chris Saines, the Director of QAGOMA, acknowledged her ability to navigate between the absurd and visionary, establishing her as a distinctive voice in the art world.

Jacqui's artistic style, often described as "quirky" or "naïve," evolved from meticulous, picture-perfect renditions to a more spontaneous and heart-centered approach. She seamlessly blends watercolor and ink, favouring their less forgiving nature to challenge her own perfectionism. Inspired by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi, Jacqui embraces imperfection as part of her unique charm. In 2022 won Local Artist Award for her quirky artwork "Summer Holiday" at the Whitsundays Arts Festival.

Summer Holidays, Acrylic on Canvas,

One pivotal chapter in Jacqui's artistic journey unfolded when she became a grandmother in 2018. Seeking to bridge the distance between her and her granddaughter, she embarked on a project that transformed sketches into a heartfelt collection, celebrating the first year of her grandchild's life. This experience revealed the profound connection achievable through art—a theme Jacqui now calls "True Heart Connections."

Despite the constraints of time, Jacqui maintains a dedicated painting routine, often rising early to create before the demands of the day set in. Her future plans include expanding her online presence, offering fine art reproductions and merchandise, and developing online courses to share her artistic wisdom.

Jacqui's advice to budding artists is poignant: "You don't need an art degree to be recognized in the art world—all that is required is to be true to yourself and paint what makes you happy." Her story resonates as a testament to the transformative power of art, urging us all to connect with the heart and find joy in the quirky, vibrant world she paints.

Look out for new artworks posted in Jacqui's gallery over the next couple of weeks.

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Congratulations Jacqui, I love your work

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