Jennifer Sugarman
Jennifer Sugarman

Jennifer Sugarman


  • Visual Artist

Born in New York City, Jennifer Sugarman was exposed to art at an early age, taking her first art class at MOMA at age four, where she was able to view many exciting works of art that have influenced her throughout her artistic career. She went on to receive her MFA from The University of Mississippi and her BA from Northwestern University.

Jennifer’s early paintings were acrylic canvases so large she had to climb a ladder to work on them. Convenience later drew her to watercolor and the creation of increasingly smaller paintings. Over time she realized she truly loved painting smaller. While large canvases command attention partly due to overwhelming size, jewel-like small works, no less significant or meaningful, quietly ask to be contemplated.

Her application of the watercolor medium is decidedly  non-traditional, using a process she has created over years of working with the medium; her saturated colors create an aesthetic that is unexpected and often not recognized by the viewer as watercolor. She is known for brilliantly colorful small paintings that invite the viewer into imaginative dreamscapes.  Jennifer’s work has been accepted in juried competitions nationally and internationally, and is held in many private collections. 

Jennifer Sugarman

Artist Statement

“If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint it.” Edward Hopper


As long as I can remember I have been making art of some sort. While initially I never planned on being an artist, art has always been a part of my life.

Loving color, I chose painting as my expressive medium. When I first began to make art seriously, my paintings were mostly acrylic and so large I had to climb a ladder to work on them. Out of necessity and convenience I began to paint smaller and smaller paintings using watercolor, and suddenly I realized that I truly loved painting small works, and enjoyed living with them. My large works commanded attention because of their overwhelming size, while the small works, no less significant or meaningful, quietly asked to be contemplated. Though not truly miniatures, my paintings are reminiscent of the colorful Indian miniatures I have always loved.

While the scale of my watercolors, and therefore interaction with them, is small and personal, my approach to painting both small and large works is similar. Surface tension, brushstroke, and layers of color are equally important no matter the size of the work, and there are layers of meaning to be discovered in all my paintings. While watercolor is a traditional medium, I am not a traditional watercolorist. The manner in which I apply the paint is a process I have arrived at over the years; it creates an aesthetic that is unexpected and often not recognized by the viewer as watercolor.

Each painting has a story to tell that the viewer must interpret in his or her own way. I want you to participate when you look at my art – enter my work and place yourself in the space. While my large works were primarily figurative, for the most part figures have disappeared from my watercolors. However, a sense of the figure’s presence remains – you are that presence.