Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jane Guthridge: Denver


Artist Jane Guthridge
Please share a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what (if any) were any early influences on your work? Where do you live now?

I was born outside NYC, but moved to the Midwest when I was five years old. I grew up in Rockford, Illinois. My parents bought an old resort on a lake in Northern Wisconsin with three other couples when I was in grade school. My mother was a teacher, so after school was out we would spend our summers there. The “dads” would come up on weekends. It was idyllic. Between the families there were twelve kids. We spent our summers, swimming, boating, water skiing, making forts and exploring the woods. It rains a lot in Wisconsin, so we also spent a lot of time creating art and crafts. We collected objects, and painted and repurposed them to create our own worlds. Spending so much time in the outdoors had a tremendous influence on me. My work is inspired by the natural world.  I live in Colorado now. The abundance of natural beauty, the incredibly vast skies and the light are what brought me here and inspire me to this day.

Translucence show
Space Gallery, Denver 2012
Standing work (back): Changing Light
14” x 14” image size
Duralar, encaustic on asian paper

Did you receive any formal art training?

I graduated with a degree in Fine and Professional Arts with a major in Graphic Design from Kent State University. My first years I studied the basics of a Fine Arts degree, drawing, painting, visual organization, color theory, art history, etc. The last years I concentrated on Graphic Design, which included typography, photography, illustration, design and layout. I’ve always had a love of type, the grace of a curve, the beauty in shapes. After graduation I studied with my design idols Armin Hoffman and Paul Rand in Switzerland. From them I learned not just about design, but also how to approach and think about my work in general. These practices still resonate with me still today.

The Space Between
6” 19” x 19” image sizearchival pigment print and encaustic on
translucent asian papers

Light Triptych
36"h x 12”w image size each panel,
archival pigment print and encaustic 
on translucent asian papers

Translucence show
Space Gallery, Denver 2012
Standing work (front):“Changing Light” 
14” x 14” image size, Duralar, encaustic on asian paper

The Space Between
13” 19” x 36” image size
archival pigment print and encaustic 
on translucent asian papers

What is your current work about?

My work is inspired by the natural world—the rich colors of the land, the play of light on water and the varied plant life that surrounds us. It is about taking the time to slow down, to look closely and reflect on the world around us. It is about seeing the beauty in simple things that may be overlooked, the elegance in shadows, the allure of the spaces in between objects.  My current work explores light. I am moved by its transcendent qualities—its ability to conceal and reveal, its rhythms, patterns and ever-changing nature.

What is your workspace like?

My studio is near downtown Denver in what was a hotel 100 years ago. I like the bit of character from its former life. I have two rooms, one in which I paint and make prints, and the other where I cut, compose, frame and store my work. I work mainly in encaustic monotypes so I have a 40” x 60” heated table where I create my prints. I have a wall painted with “Magically Magnetic” paint where I attach paper works with magnets allowing me to study and photograph my work. I find that as my ideas expand, the space seems to contract. It is not a large space, but I make it work.

How do you develop a sense of community with other artists? Are you involved in any arts groups or communities? What do you gain from this and what do you contribute?

I have many friends in Denver who are artists. We talk frequently, go to art openings, civic events and career development seminars. I have made an effort in recent years to become more involved. I curated a show last year that led to other opportunities for many of the exhibiting artists.

Dancing Light 
24” 19” x 19” image sizearchival pigment print and encaustic
on translucent asian papers

Attending the International Encaustic Conference and presenting at the Conference last year allowed me to meet and become friends with many wonderful artists from around the world. I find it a warm and welcoming community. We help each other by passing on information, opportunities and encouragement. Being a part of a community of artists makes my life infinitely richer. I am constantly inspired by the artists I meet. Their incredible work, their ability to articulate their thoughts, and their outstanding achievements push me to work harder. I hope that I can return the favor.

A Haiku Moment
a show I curated at the Canyon Gallery,
Boulder Public Library—where work that embodied
the simplicity and empathy of haiku
was paired haiku poems

Do you have other jobs, other than making art?
I have owned and worked at my graphic design company Jane Guthridge Design for more than 25 years.

Thank-you, Jane!
You can see more of her work on her website: