An article from The Arizona Beehive newpaper, dated February, 2013:
The Arizona Beehive
“Study and Drive Are Keys to Young Sculptor’s Success”
Written by Cecily Markland – 2/18/2013
An emerging sculptor, Jordan Abernethy participates as one of the selected artists in a two-hour paint/sculpt-off during the Scottsdale Fall Festival of the Arts last November. Photo by Kevin Earl of The Marshall-LeKAE Gallery.
While he tried his hand at construction and later started a business with his brother-in-law, nothing seemed to fit until he returned to what had allured him as a child.
“I have been drawing all my life,” says Jordan Abernethy, of the Evergreen Ward, Tempe Stake. “I’ve always been artistic, and I’ve always wanted to do sculpture. I think that’s the ultimate form of artwork.”
After the “double whammy” failures in the business world, Jordan determined that he needed to go back to school.
“Every job seemed to require a degree, even if the degree was not in that actual field,” Jordan says. So, when he returned to college he decided to major in art-“the only thing I felt really good at.”
His college classes provided an eye-opening experience. “I knew before that I could paint better than some of my friends, but I thought I was kind of mediocre.”
And, yet, he had put hours into drawing and into studying anatomy, both human and animal. Fascinated by the skeleton and skeletal muscles, he continues to dedicate himself to studying anatomy in order to capture the genuine structure of his subjects.
He realized in those early college classes that his practice and persistence were paying off.
“I found I was drawing and painting at a higher level than my instructors,” Jordan says, “and my sculpture class was nothing more than welding garbage together or making a mold of my hand, and calling that sculpting.”
More driven than ever to see where his passion for art could take him, in April 2011, Jordan jumped at the opportunity to attend a workshop with renowned wildlife sculptor, Ken Rowe. “That was one of the best things I ever did. It opened up the world for me,” Jordan says.
He explains, “Before, my armatures were never strong enough.”
Having acquired the technical skill to build armatures that would support his pieces, Jordan’s career as a sculptor took off, and others stepped in to help and encourage him.
“So much of my success has been because of others: My wife, Mary, has lovingly supported me and it’s been great to have her support. My parents. Mark Bayless, who is an artist himself, encouraged me and introduced me to Peter Strub of The Marshall-LeKAE Gallery … Howard Lyon, another artist and great friend… I’m just surrounded by amazing people.”
Yet, it’s his hours of study of anatomy and honing his talent that have been at the heart of his foray into the world of serious art. And, he admits he, is somewhat of a perfectionist.
“I’m hard on myself. It’s hard for me to be satisfied, so I often tear apart a sculpture more than once and start over. If it’s not right for me, it’s not right,” he says.
In addition to having his work in The Marshall-LeKAE Gallery in Scottsdale, Jordan was invited to appear as one of the featured artists at the Scottsdale Festival of the Arts last November and recently was accepted into Manitou Galleries, one of the top galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“I want to take it as far as I can go. When I see someone really good, it drives me to surpass them, to take it to the next level,” Jordan says.