Interview with an artist – Jane Welsh
Jane Welsh started emerging as a successful, contemporary artist after moving to the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane nearly 7 years ago. Jane is becoming well known for her striking portraits created using the natural beauty of the Sunshine Coasts beaches as her backdrop. Sitting comfortably beside these are an eclectic mix of strong abstracts using nature as her inspiration and flowing figurative sculptures in both wood and clay. Jane has won a number of awards for her paintings and sculptures.
When did you first realise you wanted to paint?
I have loved art as long as I can remember, and I really discovered my gift for drawing realistically and having a good instinct for colour and design in middle high school. Since highschool I have known “I am an artist” even though I took the more “sensible” route through a couple of other professions.
Could you tell us some more about your work?
I have yet to settle on a style or theme as some artists do. I enjoy playing with colour and the flow of paint to produce abstracts that are vibrant, that have an energy or life of their own, and I guide them to suggest a landscape. I love vibrant colour and rich textures. I enjoy realism too, especially creating paintings that capture love, joy and connection and I hope these are passed on to the viewer. And I love to combine these two elements of abstraction and realism, which is perhaps the most challenging.
What is it that inspires you to paint?
To capture joy, create joy, to express love or connection, to create a good feeling or mood.
What other artists have influenced you, and how?
I love Gustav Kilmt’s work for the combination of glowing nudes and rich abstracted colours and patterns. I love the wiry rawness and freshness of Egon Schiele’s paintings, and on the Australian scene I love Brett Whiteley for his fluidity and courageous explorations of confronting themes.
Does the internet have a positive or negative influence on art?
I think the internet has both a positive and a negative influence. I really appreciate the connections made with other artists, how easy it is to see fresh art. But it is also so easy to indulge in this instead of progressing my own work, ie procrastinating!
What do you do for fun (besides painting)?
I have 2 wonderful little kids and we have a great time on our rural property in the Noosa Hinterland, recently enjoying the jasmine blooms, and eating mulberries fresh from the tree, and getting our herbs and vegies planted to make the most of spring.
What’s your favourite painting and why?
I really like “Spring meadow” an abstract landscape painting that has a great mix of colours, lots of vibrant loose splashes and brush strokes. It is happy and lively, and one of those paintings that fell together in a fresh way.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on some paintings of my kids, my son swimming with an octopus, his favouriate animal, and my daughter getting a magic spell cast on her by fairy Tinkerbell. I am also working on layering of colours to decorate a stylised painting of a mother and child, a painting of love and connection.
What’s your greatest ambition as an artist?
I used to want to make it BIG TIME, for example to win the Archibald or the Wynne prize. But recently my drive has changed to wanting to be a positive creative force in the world, to create work that enriches people’s lives and helps them to feel good, to be of service in the world by sharing my gifts.
You can view all of Jane’s art here.