"Shaping little hills of paint into colours, slicking the colours across a smooth board, easing the paint into position. Colours that imitate light on a living thing, or remind us of light, or remind us of the feeling of light. Brushstrokes imitating shadows. Shadows intimating character. For me, it’s all about painting.
I paint what delights me, and what I encounter with my camera. An indignant chick. A friend. A translucent wave. I paint what I’ve seen, and then go a little further, telling you about my experience with the subject, pushing you to share in it with me, trying to make you laugh. I’m creating reminders of the experience of my life."
Jan learned to create life in Emily Carr University’s film animation department, and has carried those tools into her current painting practice. A reflection of the world as she sees it, her work is often humorous, sometimes poignant, and almost always concerned with character.
Jan has been painting in the South Okanagan for 20 years. Her studio work tends to showcase the life around her on the small farm, encounters with friends, as well as interesting characters in the wild and in the news. As well as personal work, she does several portrait commissions a year. In 2015 and 2016, Jan studied portraiture with Canadian painters Kristy Gordon and Katherine Stone and with Cuban-American master Cesar Santos, further honing her oil painting technique.
In 2015, Jan’s paintings were featured on the popular blog The Jealous Curator. In 2017, Jan was awarded Penticton Art Council’s prize for top visual artist in the district. Later that year, one of her paintings was awarded a juror’s prize at the Salt Spring National Art Prize. Also that year, Jan co-created a successful group studio space and art gallery in Penticton (Little Long Studios, now The Long Gallery), which she went on to sell. She continues to retain a studio space in The Long Gallery which is open to the public.
Her work has been shown at galleries including Bau-Xi Vancouver, Penticton Art Gallery, Tumbleweed Gallery, SOPA Kelowna, The Gallery at Jasper Park Lodge, Kelowna Art Gallery, and Saint-Germain Gallery. She has done artist residencies in Wells, BC (2010, 2013, 2014, 2018) and in Nova Scotia (2009).
In addition to painting, Jan spends her time dancing and is an accomplished belly dance performer. She lives on a small farm near Penticton BC with her partner, glass artist Redbeard.
Photo by Gordon Wylie.