Jackie literally denied herself the opportunity to study studio arts while attending Barnard College in NYC. She believed her focus had to be on more practical studies that would lead to a stable career. She appreciated the need for a proper income if one was to live a life in NYC (which she believed at the time was where she would stay forever.) After accidentally finding herself in Big Sky, Montana shortly after graduation, she took a figure drawing class at Beall Park. It was then that she allowed herself to exhale as she finally proclaimed, "I am an artist."
She sought after and found the ultimate teacher, Charles (Skip) Cantwell in Palo Alto, California. She took every drawing and painting class of his that she could. She listened to his instruction intently as he guided her and her fellow students. Eventually she returned to Big Sky and began teaching oil painting lessons herself.
For nine years she has been teaching plein air and studio painting to guests of ranches and resorts, children of Big Sky's public school and friends and family. Her own education continues to advance as she engages her students and creates her own work. She is an avid reader of art books, has taken independent study courses at Montana State University and studied sculpting and figure drawing in Florence, Italy.
"In the world of art, the tangible piece is what we judge the work (and often ourselves) on. From the literal physical realm, what else is there? But it is the creative process that keeps me coming back to the easel. Art leaves room simultaneously for trial, error, communication and growth like nothing else I have experienced. I am in love when I am teaching, discussing, observing, studying and creating art."