Meet Jan

What inspired you to become an artist?

In history, at school when studying the Renaissance we were shown prints of Early Renaissance paintings: Giotto, Pierre Della Francesca and others and these Early Renaissance works had an abstract quality, not realistic in any way but  with rich reds and strong deep blues. They exhibited rich color and gold (often a complete background in gold. Rich beyond belief!

The Creative Process

How do you come up with ideas for your artwork?

Ideas pop into my mind just about every hour of the day! Con you imagine how I want to try this or that idea and at day’s end I have not tried them all! How could I? There are just not enough hours in the day. So my day consists of working and of course I can only pursue one idea at one time! 

What mediums and techniques do you prefer to work with?

In art school I studied oil painting but upon trying watercolour I became hooked on the transparency: the possibility of a little pigment, water and superb paper to create sky in a blue and the grass in blue also and by using yellow on the blue getting green.

How long does it typically take you to complete a piece of artwork?

I will walk around for days and days with the idea, too afraid to start! 95% thinking and anguishing over it and less than an hour to execute! I then need three or better still six hours and will do three to six and may have one of the these that is fully  resolved and just extraordinary!

 What themes or subjects do you explore in your art?

 Landscape but within that landscape very big skies.

Do you have any formal art education or training?

After leaving school I went to the National Art School at night for three years, then applied for a state scholarship for four more years. Every study period was two hours and there were three each day, every day!

Advice For Aspiring Artists

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

Work hard, perfect your technique, you may emerge slowly into the art world but one day some one will come along and spot you and want your work. This can happen suddenly! Then big steps will take place and you are selling and getting lots of admiration.

Do you take commissions or create custom artwork?

Never take and deposit for a commission and say ‘I will put this work into my program, phone you up the moment I think you will find an artwork’ and invite the prospective client to come and look. Perhaps five or six months later!

What is your artistic process from start to finish?

Days and days of thinking the a good clear run of nine hours work. Even a clear run of six hours can be useful. Can’t do anything in less time.

How do you choose the titles for your artworks?

Hardest thing of all and that is why I have a lot of titles ‘Blue Landscape’ ‘Landscape with Blue’, Pink in the Landscape’. Not very imaginative!

Have you experimented with different styles or techniques in your art?

Abstract is very appealing. I always keep my life drawing up, all artists do! Print making especially mono prints.

Community Involvement

Are you involved in any art communities or organisations?

A very active Church where friendship and fresh food is available each week for collection if needed-all welcome/worship and lunches of course and Bowral art gallery where I help with the catering for exhibitions and a Silversmithing Studio where I study under a Master Silversmith.

Have you exhibited your work in galleries or art shows?

Yes at the Bowral Gallery several solo exhibitions and I participate in almost all the art exhibitions there: drawing/ watercolour / landscape/ members  being the main ones.

How do you handle creative blocks or lack of inspiration?

I have never had a creative block! 

 What artists or artistic movements have influenced your work?

I can not say. Just drinking in artworks all the time: see so much at the galleries in Sydney  and Canberra where the mast fabulous exhibitions have been available.

What are your favourite art materials or tools to use?

One very special brush.

Aspirations As An Artist

What are your future goals or aspirations as an artist?

I would like to continue to get my works out so that they can be enjoyed by many people, Also I would like to get many ideas that are in my note pads and sketch books done. And get many many ideas out of my head and on to paper! And find lots of time to continue my study of artists and the history of the various art movements.