beauty in the mundane
People, Places and Pastels: Life in Chalk with Jeri Greenberg
By Giovan J. Michael THE pure pigments that burst out of every corner of a Jeri Greenberg painting tell the story of a master immersed in her
craft. The eyes and faces of her figures are arresting, the composition of each piece pulls the viewer deeper into its world,
and even a crumpled sheet or teacup has a story to tell.
While the colors of each pastel painting are extraordinary, the subjects are not. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Greenberg’s body of work includes a collection of people in the quiet, mundane moments of everyday life. There’s
also a series of empty beds, a bike leaning on a park bench, and fruits, flowers and teacups.
But it is in the beauty of the mundane that Greenberg finds the stories she wants to tell.
WBM september 2020
“The ordinary can be extraordinary if
you’re paying attention,” she says.
Greenberg’s immersion into fine art is
part of the “next act” in her life. She wasn’t
always a professional painter and teacher.
Before entering the art world, she had a
long career working in illustration, fashion,
graphic design, and advertising.
“I have been drawing for all of my life,”
she says. “I can’t remember a time when
I wasn’t drawing. Doodling is how I calm
While in school she discovered the large
divide between the world of an “illustrator”
and that of a “painter.” She was under pres-sure
to define herself.
“When I was going to school, I was told
to pigeonhole myself,” she says. “I always
considered myself an illustrator until I
learned to consider color and form and
Always the go-getter, Greenberg took
her portfolio through the subways of New
York, knocking on office door after office
door until she won her dream job as an
illustrator. She then reinvented herself time
and time again. As the industry changed,
so did she.
She did it while raising children but, as
the kids began leaving the house, a few
mentors urged Greenberg to take the leap
into the art world.
“It was time to do this for myself,” she
Pastel artist Jeri Greenberg paints and
teaches virtually from her home studio
in Leland. Opposite: Bike and Shadows,
14 x 11 inches, pastel on paper.