Thank you for visiting...Paintings by Jenni
This website is a showcase for all of the paintings I have painted, since I was in a devastating car accident, on July 12, 2003, in which I sustained a spinal cord injury. I am now a C6/C7 quadriplegic, which means I am paralyzed from the chest down. I have the use of my wrists, arms, shoulders and neck. I can feel certain parts of my hands, but am unable to move my fingers or thumbs. This limitation makes it very hard for me to do anything, in a conventional manner. But, I have overcome some obstacles, as you'll see by reading a little of my story below...
After learning I wouldn't walk again (at least, for now), I started aggressive physical and occupational therapy during my 3+ months at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. I learned quite a bit about myself, and my own physical limits, due to the loss of my independence. I have always been a creative person and thought that I would never get to put my artistic talent to use again. But, I was put into the Art Therapy Program, at the hospital. My occupational therapist had shown me all the adaptive equipment I could use, to help me hold things like pencils, markers and paint brushes. This way I could still create beautiful works of art, with the very limited use of my hands. It consists of a short opponent hand splint and built up foam.
Several years back, becoming increasingly bored of just drawing, with markers, at home, I decided I wanted to start working in a new medium. I told my husband, Jeremy, I really wanted to get into painting, again. He went out that week and bought me an easel, canvases, brush sets and some paint. The first painting I did was going to be a birthday present for my Mom. Because who else would appreciate my effort and display it, proudly, in their home?
When I presented it to her, her actual response was, "Ooh Monet!" I responded, "No, Jenni Kostanski." She asked, excitedly, "You did this!?!" I explained that I had painted it, for her. It didn't it look like much, to me, but she thought it was a Monet, which made me feel great. Many of our family members and friends that were at a get together that night, also thought it looked like Monet. I thought, wow, I must still have some talent left in me, even though I'm paralyzed.
My Uncle Dave told me, that same night, he seriously wanted me to do a painting for his brand new kitchen. He said he wanted it to match his Terra Cotta colored walls. So I told him I would work on it. After presenting it o him, he asked me how much he owed me. I told him I didn't paint it to get paid, but the next time I saw my Aunt and Uncle, they gave me a gift card to buy more canvases and paint. This made me think about selling my paintings, as a means to make a little extra money, hence, the creation of this website.