Jane was born in Cheb, Czech Republic in 1964, and her family immigrated to Vancouver in 1969, as sponsored refugees. At a young age, she learned to appreciate the outdoors with her family, who valued the new found freedom of the west coast. Jane Appleby is an expressive and intuitive painter who paints with the vigour of her love of life, inspired by the Canadian Landscape, often painting outdoors in the tradition of the Canadian Group of Seven - "En Plein Air.” Laika, her dog, is often at her side.
Jane obtained membership with The Federation of Canadian Artists and over the years took workshops from established members of the group, including watercolours and oils with Mike Svob, abstraction with Don Farrell and plein air with Brent Lynch.
After many classes locally, Jane wanted to take courses outside of Canada and ventured to California to learn plein air acrylics with Marcia Burtt. She enjoyed two week-long workshops, at Cambria and Goleta Beach.
After these intensive workshops, she furthered her studies at Emily Carr University where she excelled in drawing and composition of colour and received a Fine Arts Technique diploma.
Another turning point for Jane was when her intuitive approach to painting was affirmed by the Late Robert Genn in his workshop, taught along with his daughter, Sara, at Holly Hock, Cortez Island. The weeklong class in oil and acrylic focused on landscape into abstraction and Sara’s talk on colour relationships, and trying some of her colours, impacted Jane as much as the demonstrations and picturesque location.
My art is both a contemplative and expressive response to the landscapes I paint.
I am inspired by the drama of light as it moves along forms, the rhythms and nuances of shapes, and the colours that change from subtle to vivid at any given moment.
When I start an abstract composition I rely on a repertoire of studies, photographs and memories as I delve into a creative journey that welcomes the mingling of colour relationships and different paint applications.
In this spontaneous process I am intrigued by contrasting elements that present themselves and am challenged to make them work within the painting. This may involve placement of gestural brushstrokes or lines, colours, specific textures or marks such as cross hatches or dots, which add depth or imply movement and invite the viewer to move through the painting and connect to it's energy.
Often when I paint, I feel there is a song to be expressed and I work in such a way that each movement of the brush is like a colourful note or chord playing out the scene. Even though the initial gestures of the painting form freely and quickly, completing the painting may take some time as I consider the composition and how it feels.
Ultimately painting the landscape abstractly enlightens and challenges me to find new ways to observe and treasure it, and I hope that others may also find this exploration and joy within my artwork.