Anne Neilson Fine Art is excited to present their newest artist to join the gallery, Jane Schmidt! Living in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, Jane is inspired by the vivid colors of her surrounding environment. Her abstract landscapes use color and texture to express more what is felt rather than what is seen by direct observation. Her paintings evoke a strong connection to nature and portray a variety of colors, which balance the landscape between realism and abstraction. Keep reading to learn more about Jane and her artwork.
Name: Jane Schmidt
Hometown: Birmingham, Michigan
Currently Living: Asheville, NC
When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?
I started my creative career in the mid 1970’s as a graphic designer. Initially I was a senior designer for a large architectural firm in Detroit and later had a design firm in Phoenix, AZ where most of my work focused on corporate branding. It was not until 2004 that I completed a three year Masters of Painting curriculum at Arizona State University and began my career as a fine artist. I have since taught art and art history at several colleges and universities but my primary focus has been to paint in my studio.
Describe your aesthetic in three words:
Searching, Describing, Revealing
Describe your artistic process and preparation?
My artistic process typically begins with a canvas or board stained in a warm red. The red gives a glow to subsequent colors and reminds me of the warm earth tones on which colorful vegetation rests. I seldom have a composition in mind before I paint but I usually start with gesturing dark organic shapes that will later serve as trees or shrubbery and will help to define the visual flow. I build a painting in multiple layers working from large to small shapes, further defining forms with each subsequent layer. My landscapes are not site specific but are memory based and reflective of many landscapes worked into one. Warm and cool colors play off each other as do contrasting values and complementary hues.
Close up detail showing layers and texture
Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?
I don’t have a favorite piece. My greatest pleasure is in the process and discipline of painting; the layering of colors and the mindful balance between energy and restraint.
Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?
Several artists serve as inspiration to me to include Pierre Bonnard, Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, Edvard Vuillard, Henri Matisse and Wolf Kahn.
Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley #57, 1955
What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art? And how do you approach/overcome them?
The biggest challenge to fine art is its continued dismissal in our public schools and public programs. The emphasis of a STEM education at the expense of fine arts funding is voiding our society of a culturally rich and mutually beneficial environment. We need only to study the growth of strong and vital urban societies to note their dependence on the arts as the fabric of enrichment. Unfortunately as I write this blog we are under the thumb of a government that refuses to acknowledge the value of the arts.
Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?
I measure success as a series of small accomplishments determined by tenacity and integrity… to be both vulnerable yet shielded, humble yet assertive. Grateful always for gifts and talents bestowed on us.
Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?
Favorite location to paint is my studio. It’s quiet and has good feng shui, allowing me to paint with total submersion and concentration.
Jane’s Studio in Asheville
A random fact about you: I love the smell of gum erasers.
Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?
Maine has always been a favorite place to both vacation and paint.
One of Jane’s works painted in Maine
What are you currently reading?
A Little Life by Hanna Yanagihara; a beautifully written portrait of the friendship of four men.
What are you currently listening to?
Yo-yo Ma on Pandora.
What would you be doing if you were not an artist?
I have often thought about being an architect, most likely residential. I have such a fascination with the structures we call homes.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
Can’t live without my dark roast coffee in the morning or my cheap white wine at the end of the day.
If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I would like to be that person who could and would permanently remove Trump’s twitter account. This would remove so much of the fear, anger and hate he stirs up with his bullying tweets.
Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?
Favorite artist is Pierre Bonnard. I love his use of color and texture to convey the simple and endearing landscapes of home and family.
Pierre Bonnard, Huile sur Toile, 1964
A public installation in an urban environment in need of a colorful and cheerful reminder for passerby’s to look up and smile.
What do you want your audience to know about your work?
That it is both heartfelt and honest.
What makes your work unique?
If your work is heartfelt and honest it is also unique. We all have an inner voice if we take the time and space to listen it will guide us to the expression that is uniquely our own.
Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:
To stay of healthy mind and body so as to always be able to paint.
Stop by the gallery to see Jane’s honest at heartfelt landscapes now at ANFA for yourself!
Paesaggio Eleven, 12×12
Interactions of Color and Form I, 12×12
Interactions of Color and Form II, 12×12