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Jesse Stern – Artist Extraordinaire

drawing by Jesse Stern - 'James Andrew,'  graphite on paper, 17 x 14, 2012

Drawing by Jesse Stern - 'James Andrew,' graphite on paper, 17 x 14, 2012


This past year I attended the glamorous Tribeca Ball benefiting the New York Academy of Art. What a fabulous evening and how amazing it was to see so much talent and brilliance. Among the select artists’ works there, Jesse Stern’s gorgeous portraits really struck me. I was so taken, in fact, that I quite promptly commissioned him to do a portrait of me! We’re rather pleased with the results, to say the least, and are thrilled to share said portrait with you!

Stern tells us he’s had a life-long interest in art and drawing, with his earliest inspirations being found in comic strips and adventure/fantasy books. In high school he started to draw self-portraits and he realized, through what he calls his “clumsy attempts,” that there was great possibility in the graphite medium. Stern moved to Brooklyn in 2004 (he’d drifted a bit after college where he’d started to write fiction), and seemingly out of the blue, a friend who worked in marketing, (and knew that Stern had had a gift for drawing), asked him to do some illustration and promotional postcards. Stern was paid $500 for an illustration—and as one might imagine, this planted the thought in the young Stern’s mind that there was some money in this somewhat neglected talent of his. He also knew that he had to hone his skills as an artist to move forward, and so he signed up for some art classes. It wasn’t until meeting a young self-supporting artist (several years Stern’s junior) by chance at a pool hall, however, that Stern really committed to his craft, pledging to give up his somewhat wayward life for a solid year of intensive artistic work. 

With some effort, he felt he had improved and thus applied to the School of Visual Arts in NYC, only to be rejected from their masters program in illustration. Stern’s initial sense of disappointment gave way to the realization that the fine arts program at the New York Academy of Art was a better fit, and so it was there, in 2012, that he completed his MFA in painting.

Stern’s current passion lies in portraiture and still life drawing, and we’re thrilled to see that his career is off to a spectacular start—he’s already completed illustrating a children’s book, and is receiving commissions for his fine art. We here at WIJW are thrilled to share some of his brilliance with our global audience—and trust you’ll make him a resource for beautiful drawings and portraits.

Drawing by Jesse Stern - 'Jay,' graphite on paper, 17" x 14," 2012.

Drawing by Jesse Stern - 'Jay,' graphite on paper, 17" x 14," 2012.

Drawing by Jesse Stern - 'Self Portrait,' graphite on paper, 7" x 14" 2011.

Drawing by Jesse Stern - 'Self Portrait,' graphite on paper, 7" x 14" 2011.

Painting by Jesse Stern, 'Self 'Portrait,' oil on panel, 20" x 16" 2011

Painting by Jesse Stern, 'Self 'Portrait,' oil on panel, 20" x 16" 2011

10 Comments

  1. Tara Durkan says:

    if at first you dont succeed change schools hes an amazing illustrator and I think he captured your soul

  2. wendy woo says:

    Wonderful story full of trials, perseverance and the pursuit of our dreams

  3. Marc de Paris says:

    Very interesting story and amazing portraits. Congratulations.

  4. John V. Buckley III says:

    Well done Mr. Stern. If it’s possible to capture a person’s whole life through their portrait-I’d say he has this gift. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is a superb portrait.

  6. James Andrew says:

    Dear Marc,

    I was fascinated by Jesse Stern’s work and so happy I was finally able to share it with my audience here on WIJW?

    Cheers

    JA

  7. James Andrew says:

    Hello John,

    Isn’t Stern’s work just amazing!

    I am hoping that my introduction here will bring him lot’s of opportunity.

    Cheers

    JA

  8. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Philip,

    Indeed it is superb!

    I was so thrilled ,as is everyone else, with the portrait!

    Rather amazing!

    Cheers

    JA

  9. Scott says:

    As someone VERY close to Mr. Andrew, I think Jesse nailed your likeness and that is no easy feat. It’s a beautifully rendered portrait.

    Mr Stern is brilliantly talented.

  10. James Andrew says:

    Well Mr McBee,

    After 7 rather sublime years together, I guess you would know!

    Thanks for ALL your tremendous love and support!

    Yours

    JA

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