Jeffrey Smart Baisden was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, grew up in the Florida panhandle and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in art education. Following a move to Live Oak, Florida in 1974 to teach high school, she developed a fine arts program teaching grades 9-12, Advanced Placement and adult painting. Jeffrey exhibited her artwork in regional exhibitions on weekends. Discovering Prismacolor Pencils in 1980 as a valuable teaching tool, she began exploring the medium along with her students. These improved colored pencils offered the desired color and control of painting and were portable. In 1992, she resigned from public school to devote full time to drawing, exhibitions and teaching workshops.
Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, as well as nineteen Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibitions, receiving Awards of Excellence in 1996, 2001 and 2007. In February 2003, she received the CPSA Exceptional Merit Award at the Explore This! Experimental Exhibition for the drawing “Night Watch”. Her drawings are included in the series The Best of Colored Pencil 2, 3,and 4, Colored Pencil Explorations, American Artist Magazine, Artist’s Magazine and the cover of Art Calendar magazine. Jeffrey is a Signature and fifteen year Merit Award member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, has served as District Chapter Development Director for CPSA and a past president of CPSA District Chapter 113. She was selected to teach one of two national workshops at the CPSA Convention and Exhibition in Memphis, 2004 as well as workshops throughout the country.
She is also an active member of the prestigious Florida Artists Group, the oldest professional art organization in Florida, winning awards in the annual exhibitions in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
“My compositions are straightforward confronting the viewer with the facts before them. More than rendering objects realistically, I need to strike a sensitive balance between merely recording recognizable images and creating a thought provoking statement. I want to pull the viewer into the space with me, the artist. I am an explorer and a treasure seeker gathering references from junk stores and collectibles to taken for granted spaces. I choose to capture a glimpse from the corner of your eye as you pass through a room; to explore the human qualities taken on by groupings of objects and the deafening stillness created by dramatic light.”
“My role as an artist is to entice the viewer to look, linger and respond to the subject, the color, spatial relationships, lighting and textures. Colored pencil as a medium enables me to achieve these results.”