Local artist spreads cheer via window art

In this holiday season, local artist Jennifer Pulliam is adding a little cheer to her hometown streets with her paintings on business windows. 

The owner of Willamette Valley Art Studio in Lebanon hosts paint night events throughout the Willamette Valley, and recently expanded to painting windows. Currently her art is displayed at Gateway Imprints, Sugar Vibes, Conversion Brewing, CrossFit, and Laura Gillott’s Keller Williams Realty.

She started her business, formerly Ready, Set, Van Gogh Studio, two years ago. After working food and retail jobs all her life, she wanted more time with her family, and she wanted to use her artistic side.

“I’ve always felt like God gave it to me to do something with, but I didn’t know how to incorporate that in my regular, everyday life,” she said.

Instead of doing only wine and paint nights, Pulliam decided all people and ages should have access to paint events, so she takes her business into youth groups, schools, assisted living facilities, businesses and homes.

When Pulliam decided to expand her business by painting windows during the holidays, she found it was another way to spread joy, she said.

“Putting something fun on the windows really brings in business. I can’t tell you how many people get excited just watching me do it when they come in.”

And that’s exactly what she wants her artwork to do: create happiness. 

Pulliam spent her childhood in San Diego with her mom. It was a period during which they didn’t have a whole lot, she said.

“I had to use my imagination a lot, and I kind of tapped into my creative side.”

When she was in the seventh grade, Pulliam won an art competition from the Balboa Museum of Arts of San Diego, which awarded her art classes.

“I think that’s where it really started for me. Going into a museum and seeing artwork and being taught by somebody like that, it really inspired me more.”

Of everything she learned in those classes, the one thing that really stuck with her was the lesson that artists should figure out how to make the artwork their own, to put themselves in their art somehow.

Since Pulliam is a “big fan” of life, love and happiness, she tries to incorporate herself with those themes somehow by painting a beautiful sunset, or adding animals or more trees and such, she said. She wants people to feel something from her paintings.

While she’s out painting windows, people often stop and express appreciation for what she’s doing. To see that excitement, she can see that her work “really does bring so much to people.”

Pulliam added she appreciates the one or two other artists who painted holiday scenes on businesses this Christmas season, noting it adds variety to the artwork downtown.