We had the good fortune of connecting with Jane Hunt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jane, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’ve resided in Colorado for the last 25 years but I was born, and grew up in, England. I lived only a few miles from the Tate Gallery in London and I spent my formative years in various art museums, particularly in London and Paris. By my teens we had moved to America and at that point I’d also moved cross-Atlantic three times. It was unsettling and I was extremely homesick. I attended art school in Cleveland, Ohio and became an illustrator… although all I really wanted to do was paint. When I finally could become a full-time painter I created landscapes that addressed the sense of homesickness I’ve always felt. Their intention is to bring comfort and connectedness… universal emotions we all crave. My greatest goal is to create landscapes that bring a sense of ‘home’ to the viewer.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Half of my work is created on location and the other half in the studio. Those plein air (outdoor) location studies have propelled me forward as a painter and I’m grateful that I get to teach painting all over the world! I’m honored that my work has earned over 300 awards, but the thing that I am the most proud of is when it actually helps people. I’ve heard from collectors all over the world that my landscapes bring them comfort in a chaotic world. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve often used my painting as a way to comfort myself. My biggest personal challenge eventually helped me in my art career too. My husband and I adopted a child 17 years ago from China and then discovered that she had 24 disabilities including daily seizures. At that point I was doing large scale paintings that were very time intensive. Our frequent stays at Children’s Hospital in Denver meant that my painting career came to a screeching halt. Eventually, for my mental health, my husband suggested that I should start painting again even if it was was only small pieces. It felt frivolous at the time, but that’s exactly what I did… I started painting small pieces outside whichever hospital we were in. Not only did it turn out to be the most healing thing I could’ve done, I also learned the value of doing small, frequent plein air studies. It changed both the quality and direction of my work and gave me real empathy and insight into the healing power of art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As my friends are almost all painters our time would definitely center around art. My perfect art-filled day in Denver usually looks like this: We’d spend the morning in the Denver Art Museum and then grab lunch at the little British pub, Pint’s Pub, right across the street… it’s actually quite authentic! I’d then take them over to my Denver gallery, Abend Gallery… to check out all the artwork there and at gallery 1261. We’d then head to the Denver Botanical Gardens where we would plein air paint at the lily ponds until they closed. We’d grab dinner at Annie’s café right down the street. It has amazing comfort food, a really nostalgic vibe, plus they’re very laid-back about artists coming in there a little disheveled after a day of painting.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are countless people and organizations who have helped me along in my art career. In the Denver area, one that sticks out is my long-time Gallery, Abend Gallery at 1261 Delaware St. I started with them as an emerging artist, and now my career has flourished they’re extremely patient that I can’t always provide them with new work! I’ve shown in galleries all over the world and had all types of experiences but one of the most impressive ones happened at Abend Gallery. They sent one of their collectors to buy a piece of mine from another gallery. This was at no benefit to themselves… they chose to put the needs of their collector and artist first. Abend Gallery, and Gallery 1261 (housed at the same location). features many of the very best local painters as well as emerging and established talent from all over the world.