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Jackie Grawe - Portrait Artist | Illustrator | Nature Lover


"She presses down too hard! Look, another broken crayon" And with that, I was banished from my older sisters' playgroup, I could no longer use their crayons. My earliest memory from creating art, I believe I was 4 at the time...

...Surprisingly, I was not crushed by the banishment. ​

I thought their coloring was a bit boring, perfectly within the lines with a very light, almost imperceptible hue. I wanted drama. Rich colors to fill the thin light gray pages of the coloring book. The images to "color in" were mere suggestions. I wanted to make ART. I would grab the crayons out of the box and with my left hand clenched tightly, almost upside down, and color as heavy and richly as possible.

Relocating from San Francisco to a farm in rural Oregon, my love of nature and animals paralleled the love I felt for art. Multiple moves across the nation introduced me to fascinating people and strikingly different cultures within the U.S.

The skateboarding, freestyle life in Spokane Washington was a sharp contrast to that of Stone Mountain Georgia. In my early teen years, I had a rude awakening to racism. One of my very first full-color portraits was that of Jimi Hendrix, my way of creatively taking a stand against the small-minded viewpoint of some of the residents. 

Across town, at my next high school, I witnessed reverse racism and had to protect my little brothers at times. The rallies and high emotional tension created an unquenchable thirst to know more about the history of the Civil War and why people were imprisoned by their beliefs.

I took a few years of art classes to better hone my skills so that I could become a visual storyteller through my portraits. 

What fascinates me most is when you meet someone of any age or color, you can engage in beautiful rich conversations. When groups are pitted against one another, that's when trouble begins. 

I believe everyone has the capacity for greatness. Striving to attain one's goal is a noble and worth effort. Those who fascinate me are whom I create.

I am a visual storyteller.  

Please reach out with any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. 

Artist Statement:

  • I wanted to thank you for visiting my site before I went on with the artsy stuff. Without people who care about the arts, the creation loses its importance-so thank you, truly.

  • The quest for originality is my primary focus when creating art. Studying the greats; Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Klee, they created work never seen before. My art is influenced by the Impressionists and daring greats like Caravaggio who mastered the chiaroscuro technique. Ultimately the celebration of individualism and quest for excellence is why I paint portraits.If I can tell a story of one human being, and enliven the subjects of history and art simultaneously for an individual, I have succeeded in my craft.

  • Philosophy: If I could sum up my philosophy with 3 authors, it would be Ayn Rand, C.S. Lewis, and Emerson. Along with portraits I create ink illustrations that offer me the ability to convey visually striking and expressive work through lines and rich black ink. Although the subject matter is of utmost importance, the work must be aesthetically pleasing.

  • My latest research in ecopsychology has piqued my interest in the neuroplasticity of the human brain. For those with trauma, the healing properties of submersion into nature while creating art can offer relief on a whole new level. A holistic approach to healing through art and nature. My goal is for my art and altruism to have a beautiful, symbiotic relationship.

  • Without freedom and basic human rights, no true art can be created. 



  • 2022 Portfolio Illustration Course. Visual Arts Passage

  • 2022 Boulder Digital Arts UI/UX Certification Boulder, Colorado

  • 2015 Illustration Academy Kansas City Missouri

  • 2012-2013 Park University-Fine Arts Parkville Missouri  Deans List

  • 2010-2012 Maplewoods Community College-Associates in Arts Kansas City Missouri, Phi Beta Kappa


  • 2010 1st Place-Portrait Contest (Anthony Bourdain 18"x 24")

  • 2009 'Inspiration Award-National Recipient (Food and clothing drive for the homeless)

  • 2002 1st Place-Portrait Contest- (Women of Honor-Janet McDonald triptych)


  • 2018 Cbiz Fine Art Auction Kansas City, Mo Top Yielding work sold 'Rosie the Riveter'

  • 2016 Vitae Foundation Golf tournament & auction sold an original painting of Tiger Woods

  • 2015 First Fridays solo exhibit Kansas City, Mo. 

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