Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I am originally from Birmingham, Michigan and now live in Charlotte, NC.
How did this series come about?
I wanted to explore the theme of narrative illustration. I organized inanimate and organic objects into compositions that could tell a story. I was influenced by the book Arranging Things, A Rhetoric of Object Placement. It's author, Leonard Koren, investigates the selection and placement of objects in a composition and then applies unusual methods for determining the content and meaning of each composition. Like the paintings in Leonard's book each of my paintings is composed of a seemingly non-sensical arrangement of objects. It was not until I finished the series that I loosely connected and titled the paintings to a lesson learned from Aesop's fables.
How long have you been collecting the figurines that appear in your paintings?
MANY years. I love traipsing through flea markets and antique shows in search of small treasures. I am especially attracted to objects with a touch of sentiment and a tinge of kitsch.
What is it about these objects that makes you want to take them home... and paint them?
These objects summon a sweet and naive sentiment. They carry a well worn history that one can only imagine. I decided to paint them because I wanted to 'enliven' the objects; to give them another story to tell.
When not in your studio, where else would we find you?
I am an adjunct professor in the fine and applied arts so I stay quite busy with my teaching schedule. You also might find me working in my garden or on the other side of a glass of wine.
A recent painting by the artist.
Are you working on any other interesting projects?
I am always experimenting with various painting styles. I just finished a series of large horse paintings for a gallery in Tennessee. I hope to introduce a new object series in time for the holidays that has nostalgic items from Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Jane Schmidt's website.