10 questions with Jordan Blackstone

Jordan Blackstone is an artist known for capturing emotion in her photographs and paintings. Her work can be seen in the recent devotional series, When God Calls the Heart. She is online at http://www.imaginethatjbphotography.com/

Welcome! Before we begin, would you tell us a little bit about yourself and your artwork?

Who am I? I’m a Photographer who loves to paint and a painter who loves photography. 

Growing up in Alberta, I was surrounded by the wild beauty of the prairies and the ruggedness of the Rockies. With these as my backyard, they have influenced my style and given me a strong appreciation for the raw beauty of the life around me. 

Don’t try to fit me into a particular genre for I am constantly growing and learning. While wildlife and nature are my main focal points, I also enjoy working on portraits and graphic design. Each one presents its own unique challenges.

When did you first become interested in art? Were you a natural from the start?

Honestly I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have a pencil (or crayon) in my hand. Can’t say I was a natural but I did learn quickly…and still am learning.

Is it common for artists to excel at both landscapes and portraits? Do you have to sacrifice anything in the artwork by devoting time to both?

With landscapes you have more of a freedom, nothing is set in stone as to what needs to be in a piece or not. However, with a portrait you are constantly defining and refining the details. So I don’t find that I am sacrificing anything, I would say it makes one a more well round artist because you are honing so many different skills.

What advice to you have for people starting out in artistic adventures, whether it be photography, sketching, or painting?

Practice, Practice, Practice! Also never let someone else define your style, if you like a particular style of photography or painting that’s great, but don’t settle for being like them. Add your personal touch to it. I have several artists I follow and have added bits and parts of their crafting to mine, but it is still uniquely mine

Your paintings convey a strong sense of emotion—whether landscape or portrait. What kind of effort do you put into purposefully understanding and portraying emotion?

Thank you!! Conveying what I felt when I either took the picture or painted it is very important to me. That’s why I do what I do. I want to evoke the same type of reaction I felt when I first saw a place or how an individual made me feel when I first met them or saw a particular body of work they had done. Always hoping to catch that moment in time and bring out the emotions/feelings is what makes a piece memorable.

What three pieces of art are you most proud of and why (include at least one selection from your amateur years)?

Only three!? That’s like asking a parent to choose their favourite child LOL! Seriously, though I do have a few pieces that have very deep meaning to me.

The first one I’d have to choose would be a photography that I entered into a worldwide competition in 2015. It won the Exposure Award in its category of Nature/Macro and hung in the Louvre for 6 months. The piece is called Potential and had to come straight out of the camera with no post-processing done to it.

‘Potential’ by Jordan Blackstone won the Annual Exposure Photography Award in the Nature Macro Collection and was displayed in the Louvre. Photo provided by Jordan Blackstone.

My second choice would be a collaboration piece that I did with my daughter, Leah. I had taken a photograph of a lion a few years back and she choose to paint it. She wasn’t able to finish the piece due to time constraints, so I did. It’s titled, Heart of a Lion.

‘Heart of a Lion’ by Leah and Jordan Blackstone. Image provided by Jordan Blackstone.

And last but definitely not least, would be the piece that currently resides on the cover of the newest installment of the Brian Bird and Michelle Cox’s, When God Calls the Heart devotional series.

It portrays Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton and Carter Evancic as Cody Stanton during a motherly scene from the series, When Calls the Heart. The source for the piece was a photograph taken by my friend and set photographer, Ricardo Hubbs.

‘Mother’s Love’ by Jordan Blackstone appears on the cover of ‘When God Calls the Heart to Love’ and is based on a photography by Ricardo Hubbs. Image provided by Jordan Blackstone.

What are your duties for When Calls the Heart—both the Hallmark TV series and the related devotionals published through Broadstreet Publishing? How did you first begin working with them?

I actually have no duties for either Hallmark or Broadstreet, not that I’d say no to working with them (hint, hint).

I started doing portraits of the series characters and landscapes from the set just because I love the series. In the beginning, I contacted Brian Bird to make sure that it was okay with him and the powers that be that doing this would be okay. Then, through our friendship with Wendy and Rod MacInnes, I was able to be on the set when filming had completed, so I took my own photographs of the town and worked off of my own source material.

For the books, it was Brian who called me and asked if he could use some of my work in the first book. One of the pieces ended up on the cover! From that point on Brian and Michelle asked me to contribute more of my work. Several of the pieces were specifically created for each book.

Brian Bird and Jordan Blackstone on the set of Hallmark Channel’s ‘When Calls the Heart.’ Photo provided by Jordan Blackstone.

What kind of direction were you given for each book in the devotional series and how did you decide upon the cover art for each book?

Only two books have my work on the cover, the first book and the latest one. With the first book, the pieces were chosen from work I had already done from the When Calls The Heart series. The Christmas book was from photographs I had taken while on set during the filming of the first Christmas movie. This last book, I had just finished working on the piece that adorns the cover, when Michelle and Brian asked if I would like to contribute to it.

What do you hope readers will feel when they look at cover painting of your latest book?

I hope that it makes them feel that a parent’s love for their child is never ending, whether we are young or old. Also that you don’t have to be born into a family to be a part of one. Love has no boundaries or expiry dates.

‘When God Calls the Heart to Love,’ by Brian Bird and Michelle Cox is illustrated by Jordan Blackstone. Image provided by Broadstreet Publishing.

If you could spend a week living with any character from the series, who would you choose and what kind of insight would you hope to leave with?

I love this question! And it’s the easiest hands down – Rosemary! She is delightfully complicated and simple at the same time. Her humour is comical, but her friendship and love is strong and unbreakable.

I would hope to learn a little more about her background and why she is the way she is…she is one character we still don’t have a lot of back story on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *