Jan BlytheLafayette, CA
I engage constantly in an ongoing reordering of the world through manipulating those shards of experience that shape me psychologically using both source and reworked material in the production of artwork that address issues of loss, melancholy, longing and desire.
The result is sculpture, mixed media/collage and paintings using materials as varied as soot, ash, tar, furniture and textiles as well as the more traditional material of paint, paper and canvas.
China cups with soot burned into the inside, a mirror with a smoked image of a lace textile, an oak chair split in two against a mirror, a flight of stairs one cannot climb, a carpet of ash, or simply a bleached out design on a shirt are manifestations of my innermost emotions.
Inspiration for my collage and paintings comes from magazines, postcards, catalogues referencing art, textile, furniture and industrial design. From this source material I choose shapes and images that interest me. I then combine fragments of this found imagery with handmade lines to produce images which are themselves subjected to being ripped, cut, painted and drawn on, composing and recomposing to further fracture the image source.
It is an ongoing investigation of pitting color with color, overlapping shape, line and texture until I am satisfied with the overall composition.
Jan was raised in Glasgow, Scotland, a city with a strong arts and cultural heritage.
A painter early on she decided to train as a textile designer and received her BA at Loughborough college of Art in England before moving to California. After building a successful business as a surface designer, Jan returned to her first love fine art. She pursued her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute graduating in 2008 and is once again painting, creating installations, sculpture and works on paper.
Jan’s work has been shown in numerous venues including The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, Root Division, The Lab, The Soap gallery, Arthaus, Diego Rivera Gallery, and Ebert gallery in San Francisco, The Bruno David Gallery in St Louis, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, Gallery Route One in Point Reyes and The Bedford gallery in Walnut Creek.
A cash prize from The Bedford Gallery Guild and Docents Council in Walnut Creek was awarded for her work in 2011
She has been awarded the Djerrassi artist residency for 2012 and The Cornaro Art Institute artist residency for 2013.