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Mixed-media artist draws on animal magnetism

Jewel Davenport has wanted to get involved with Art on the Mall for a few years and will debut her mixed-media work at the event Sunday, July 28.

This turtle is one of many sea life illustrations created by Jewel Davenport.

This turtle is one of many sea life illustrations created by Jewel Davenport.

Davenport, who earned her bachelor of arts degree from UT in 1998, has been drawing for more than 20 years and worked in the greeting card industry before starting Jewel Renee Illustrations two years ago.

“I’m always looking for an interesting animal to draw,” she said. “Most of my sea life illustrations came from my attempt to overcome my fear of snorkeling and scuba diving. A few — like the leafy sea dragon — are so bizarre that some people think I invented them.”

Davenport’s artwork utilizes drawings created with pencil, which are then scanned and digitally painted. Her best-selling series consists of portrait variations of the Internet’s famous Grumpy Cat.

“I began dressing them as grumpy authors,” she said. “They started as a joke, but immediately took off.”

So far she has created Edgar Allan No, Jane Austere, Enemy Dickinson, Snark Twain, Hater S. Thompson and Snarls Dickens.

“I’m also working on Ernest Heming-No-Way and hope to have him finished in time for Art on the Mall,” Davenport said.

Art on the Mall will have more than 100 artist booths featuring works of acrylic, glass, jewelry, mixed media, oil, photography, pottery, textiles, basketry, watercolor, wood and more.

The free, public event will take place Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Centennial Mall on UT’s Main Campus.

To learn more about Davenport and see her art, visit etsy.com/shop/jewelrenee or go to her Facebook page.