The Colorist: Jane Schmidt

The Colorist: Jane Schmidt
The Colorist: Jane Schmidt

You can thank the beautiful changing seasons of the Carolinas for attracting a talent such as Jane Schmidt to our humble city. The landscape oil painter, whose colorful works can be seen at Shain Gallery, moved here from Phoenix by the urging of her brother in 2006.

Retiring after 20 years as the successful head of her own graphic design firm, Jane decided to shift her focus to painting. Upon taking classes and workshops at the Scottsdale Artist School, she was offered a full scholarship into the Masters of Painting program at Arizona State University where she obtained her masters in 2004.

Jane Schmidt in her studio
Jane Schmidt in her studio

At that level, technique is not taught but is discovered, encouraged and refined through experimentation and process. You are taught first to find your voice. We all have a unique voice that craves expression and that voice will tell us ‘what to paint’ and the ‘how to paint’ will follow.”

After finding her voice and developing her unique gestural style and colorful palette, Jane entered the professional arena of the fine art world, receiving grants, residencies and invitations from galleries from the start. On top of the immediate national attention, she received international recognition, including an invitation to exhibit at the Florence Biennale.

With her quick fine art success and her children grown and married, Jane was ready for a change of scenery, ultimately landing her here in Charlotte.

“My artwork is landscape derivative so Charlotte is not in-and-of-itself inspirational. However, Charlotte is a great launching point to seek inspirational sites. It’s just a few hours to either the ocean or the mountains.”

What does inspire her is no secret upon gazing at her beautiful abstract landscapes: color. Something she considers “the soul of my painting,” her landscapes are less about the subject and more about the rhythm and flow of color.

There is no right or wrong color. The artist and the viewer bring their own perceptions about color. I don’t try to influence my audience but maybe open their eyes to new ways of perceiving it.”

Jane Schmidt is not your typical plein air landscape artist. Although natural arenas are her subject, her art portrays less of the physical landscape and more of how the landscape around her makes her feel. Describing her work as Abstract Expressionism, she explains that it isn’t about what she sees, but how she feels about what she sees.

According to Jane, “My landscape paintings originate from inward and outward experiences of nature. Based on observation and later on memory, my paintings connect the reality of what is seen to the realm of what is felt as I explore the edge between abstraction and representation.”

Growing up in Birmingham, Michigan, Jane was exposed to art at an early age. She remembers attending drawing classes at the Birmingham Community House where the seed for her visual expression was planted. Always being more quiet and reserved, Jane’s bold and colorful works help her to express herself in a way that nothing else can.

The Colorist: Jane Schmidt“

Art has always been a part of my life. It defines me. First as a graphic designer, now as a painter, art has served as my all important venue of expression and communication.”

Jane Schmidt’s hard work and talent has allowed her to accomplish goals that so many dream of. Her artistic voice is loud and clear with her original techniques and flawless use of color. For her future, the sky seems the limit.

My painting style and process are constantly evolving. It’s easy to get distracted and concerned over what others say and think. My mantra is to remain sincere and truthful but also to lighten up and have fun.”

Original paintings of Jane Schmidt can be viewed and purchased at Shain Gallery (www.shaingallery.com) in Charlotte. To learn more about Jane and her oil paintings visit www.janeschmidt.com.