In 2010 I moved to my first mountain town, Cortona, Tuscany. I suspected it would impact my life, in the way that an 18 year old knows, but I had no idea just how much. After college I jumped on a museum opportunity in the mountains of Wyoming- this is the first time I would declare myself a mountain woman. In 2015 I took another leap of faith and relocated, sight unseen, to the mountains of western North Carolina, towing behind me a tiny hand built trailer. I’ve spent the past three years living deeply nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, learning how to live nontraditionally without running water, electricity, or heat- a far cry from the woman who left Northwest Connecticut nearly ten years ago.

The Blue Ridge is the grandmother to the wild, teenage Rocky Mountains. She is slower, patient in her years, and much gentler.  She will take opportunities to remind you of her strength and wisdom; remind you that she is still wild and dangerous by way of rock slide or  flood, but not with the violent noise that the Rockies display-nary a grizzly bear or an avalanche on this side of the world. In her comforting she has allowed me the time, patience, and space to begin a new artistic vision.

Historically my work has been serious, dark, moody, and very traditional. I’ve favored realistic portraiture of people, generally elderly, whom I find interesting.  Here, however, I’ve stumbled across a new sense of whimsy, one that skirted around me but was never quite honed in Italy. My intention is to nod at fairy tales and fantastical stories all while making imagery about my real life experience. Within my artwork, the main goal is to incorporate many different stories which flow together to create one greater image. I want my work to reflect the playful side of my life, to be honest, to tell my stories, and to avoid taking itself too seriously.

I am grateful for the gifts that have been bestowed on me by the mountain ranges I’ve called home; each one has taught me a different invaluable lesson.   My intention moving forward is to have those mountains as the central focus of my work- they are the theme which ties my pieces together.  I have stepped away from the serious, traditional portraiture, which once defined me, but at heart I’m still a portrait artist. The mountains have become my elderly friends, faces which I find interesting, alive and wise, teaching me endless lessons.

Jaclyn Rubino is an artist living and working in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She received her education at the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School where she studied painting, and art history. She graduated cum laude in 2011