Jordan Connelly’s art reflects a strong appreciation for color and the natural beauty of the coast. She grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and studied Studio Art and Biology at College of Charleston in South Carolina. Jordan currently lives in Colorado with her husband, daughter, son, and two Goldendoodles. She continues to paint Lowcountry scenes that fill her soul.
We love Jordan’s paintings for their soothing scenes depicted in unique colors and brushstrokes. Each piece seems to capture happy memories and celebrate beautiful days in the sun.
MC: South Carolina Lowcountry and colorful coastal landscapes are prominent themes in your artwork. How would you describe these special places, and what makes them so inspiring?
Jordan Connelly: There is a palpable joy that I feel when I’m in the Lowcountry. I grew up going to the coast of North Carolina every summer for vacation, and lived in Charleston, SC. My soul sings for the waterways, the ocean, the humidity, the ancient oaks, the architecture, the sea life. The peace that water brings is unlike anything else.
MC: Now that you are living in Colorado, what do you miss most about Charleston and the East Coast? How would you describe the Colorado aesthetic and lifestyle? Any similarities?
Jordan Connelly: I enjoy just about every outdoor activity the beautiful state of Colorado has to offer (hiking, biking, climbing, backpacking, skiing, etc.). The music and nature are remarkable. I have very much enjoyed my time out here, but I dearly miss my roots. They have become such a focal point in my art career because they are who I am. Painting from the Lowcountry brings me to those places.
MC: Do you have any tips for easy décor updates when you make a big move (how to transition colorful coastal to rustic mountain…or go with what you love no matter where you live!)?
Jordan Connelly: I love this question because we are currently renovating our new home in Colorado. We now live outside of the Denver area and overlook the mountains. There are horses and hiking trails within walking distance of our house. It has definitely motivated me to paint en plein air from home.
To answer your décor question, when I first moved to Colorado I felt a strong desire to mold my Southern décor style into the more Western setting. I grew up in a house full of color and antiques passed down from generations. My parent’s bed was Martha Washington’s bed, or so my brother and I have been told. Mixing bright cheerful colors and antiques with the Colorado rustic style proved to be a bit of a challenge, and I found that mixing my vintage skis with my Lulie Wallace pillows, didn’t really “work”. In our new home, I have now just undeniably turned to my Southern style and yes we have a pineapple-esque gold chandelier, yes we have Lulie Wallace pillows, yes we brought in all the greens, blues, pinks, and yellows, yes we have chairs upholstered in green printed animals, yes I will be doing all the floor trim and wainscoting, yes I ordered plantation shutters, and yes we just put in colorful tile, and of course I have covered the walls with art. Our home is definitely unique in this setting, but it makes me feel at home in my home.
My tip for easy décor updates is exactly the same advice as what I’d tell those that want to start painting….put your cautions aside and ignore the voice that’s telling you what “fits in”, and go with what you love, don’t create a home design or piece of art that doesn’t sing to your soul.
MC: Your paintings feature an array of gorgeous, happy colors. What are some of your favorite Maine Cottage colors or fabric designs?
Jordan Connelly: Thank you very much. I am so honored to be a part of the Maine Cottage team. There are so many fun fabrics to choose from, but some of my favorites are: Clambake in Sprout, all of the Leaflettes and Hotty Dotty’s, the Dilly in French Blue and Bluebell, the Stripe Tease in True Blue, and the Crazy Daisy in Nikko Blue.
MC: What led to your partnership with Maine Cottage?
Jordan Connelly: Maine Cottage reached out and I could not have been more excited. My family receives the catalog in North Carolina, so I was familiar with their beautiful coastal pieces. It was a great fit.
MC: Do you have a favorite painting? If so, which Maine Cottage piece would you choose to create a perfect pairing?
Jordan Connelly: This is a tough question. Maine Cottage has so many beautiful pieces!! I think I would choose the Small Margate Buffet & Hutch in French Blue and hang Fireflies at Sea 1 and Fireflies at Sea 2 on either side of it.
MC: Do you have any tips for selecting artwork that brings happiness into a home?
Jordan Connelly: I always say, choose something that makes your soul sing. It’s that instant connection that you can’t take your eyes off of. It can be a large statement piece that draws the attention into a room, or a smaller statement piece that ties your gorgeous nook or shelf into a larger space. There is something about owning original art that is so intimate and special. I just imagine the hours and deep thought and love that went into creating the piece that’s now in someone else’s home or important space. It’s a sort of love language that needs no translator.
MC: You are also a nurse, which is so admirable. How do you balance being an artist, nurse, and mother of young children?
Jordan Connelly: I have been an Emergency Room nurse for almost ten years and actually just obtained my Doctorate to become a Nurse Practitioner. I have two amazing kiddos that are almost 15-months old and 2.5 years old. I very much feel called to be a healer, whether that be in medicine, and/or through my art, and/or through my job as a mother and wife. I care so deeply for people and thrive on helping others and bringing joy. Art, nursing, medicine, mothering, and being a wife are all so similar, and I’m so grateful to be able to do a bit of all of them. With that said, the balance is not easy. Over the last 4 years I have gotten married, had 2 beautiful kids, become a doctor, moved twice, started an art career…and it has been fantastic, wild, exhausting, fulfilling…the most difficult, and the most wonderful time. It’s hard not feeling guilty when I’m giving myself to many different things, but I truly feel called to each of them. I do my best to give myself grace, and individually give my best self to each thing. I try to stay present and intentional and celebrate the beautiful moments, and not pretend that things won’t be hard at times.
MC: What’s your most important advice for all the aspiring artists out there? Feel free to provide more than one tip!
Jordan Connelly: It will seem like an impossible task, as there is so much to learn in the foreign field of business, but YOU CAN DO IT. Find mentors in different areas, keep putting yourself out there, and believe in yourself. Everyone will have an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t paint and how you present yourself and your work, but paint what brings you joy, and others will feel that passion. Don’t try to become what you think people want, be your unique beautiful self and people will love it. I’m always here if you have any questions. I may not know the answers, but I’ll try to provide some insight from what I have experienced.