Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet Jane Davies - Professional Artist

Jane Davies is a full time artist working in collage, painting, mixed media, and encaustics.  She offers workshops at her studio and nationwide, focusing on helping people to find a personal and playful approach to creating.  See her LINK on the right under Artists I Follow, or go to her website at, her blog at  Also see her Books page on her website along with Links to her favorite resources   She has many wonderful video tutorials you can watch and try on her blog.

Beginning as a potter in the early nineties, selling her colorful hand-painted ceramics at craft shows, Davies gradually transitioned into freelance art, designing tableware, quilting fabric, paper goods, stationery, and other products, using painting and collage as her medium.  For the past several years, though maintaining a freelance business, Davies has put most of her efforts towards teaching, writing, and having fun making art.  She is the author of four books, and is working on a fifth.

I call myself a collage and mixed media artist because I’ve always worked in various formats with diverse materials.  Though it may sound clich√©, for me, art is definitely a journey. It has taken me from being a potter to free lance artist to artist-author-teacher, with interwoven avenues of bookbinding, print-making, beading, painting, textile art, design, and other means of creating.
Every day of this journey offers new possibilities; I go to the studio to see what will happen rather than to make something specific happen.  I may start with an idea, but once I engage with the materials and become absorbed in the process, the muses take over.  On a good day, that is.  Some days I just show up, do all the same things, and nothing surprising or interesting happens.  Still, I believe that the act of showing up and engaging is the most important activity I can do as an artist.

I believe that making art is a journey with very few hand-holds and only a general road map.  Each participant has to find his or her own way, while at the same time remain open to learning from others.  While I may teach a multitude of techniques, my focus is on the back-and-forth play of spontaneity and intention that characterizes the creative process.  I try to pave the way into that precarious I-don’t-know-what-to-do-next zone, where you are challenged to forge a personal path, with guidance, to discover the satisfaction of making art that is truly your own. Cultivating a degree of comfort, or at least willingness, with that awkward territory of not-knowing, is one of the keys to finding your creative edge.

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