Jennifer Pochinski

Deconstructing Velázquez

<em>Untitled</em>, 2023, oil on paper, 22 x 30 inches.
Untitled, 2023, oil on paper, 22 x 30 inches.

A few years ago, on one of her regular visits to her childhood home on Hawaii’s Big Island, Rhode Island resident Jennifer Pochinski began doodling in her seatback copy of Hana Hou, the inflight magazine of Hawaiian Airlines. “I thought, Oh, these could be paintings,” she says. “At the same time, I had a big book of Velázquez paintings, so I just sort of worked from both the magazine and the book.” The experiment ultimately resulted in a series titled Hana Hou, which blends Hawaiian motifs—rainbows, hibiscus flowers, and hot pinks, for example—with elements of Old Master paintings.

  • After Velasquez, 2023, oil on paper, 22 x 30 inches.

Pochinski approaches each work with an open mind. “I want my painting to be authentic, to mirror my insides, but I’m also trying to engage with the act of creation—which includes destruction.” She believes there’s no single way to finish a work and, even when things are going well, it’s worth stopping to reconsider the next move. Sometimes that might mean attacking the canvas “with a whole lot of orange, because at some point you’ve got to subvert yourself.” After her sojourns in Hawaii, Pochinski says, her Providence home, with its many browns and grays, only reinforces her desire to inject vibrancy into her paintings. “I always go back to using color with a vengeance.”

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Noelani Kirschner is a former assistant editor for the Scholar.


Please enter a valid email address
That address is already in use
The security code entered was incorrect
Thanks for signing up