Jan Weiss Studio
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Oh So Tiny

My latest obsession - tiny art. I mean really tiny. These are 2”x1.5” or 2” x 2”.

I lay out six pieces at a time on one sheet of 9x12 paper and then tape off the openings. I select a palette for each group and then paint earth and sky and sometimes water. Once it’s dry I go over the shapes with graphite pencil and conte crayon which gives the whole piece dimension.

Check out my Instagram feed for the whole collection and if you are interested in any of the pieces just let me know. Each available for $25.00. Five are sold - 6 still available.

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Going To The Dogs

So life is going to the dogs! Well actually it’s fifteen dogs that will be installed throughout the town of Danville from May thru September. Fifteen local artists were chosen to design and paint a fiber glass dog for this public art project. I am one of the fifteen and I finished my dog the other day…she’s all painted and ready for display. This project is being organized through the Village Theatre and Art Gallery in Danville.

My thought process as I designed this was to paint something that makes me happiest and gives me inspiration and also feels like California - so I chose an abstracted somewhat deconstructed desert scene complete with tall graceful palm trees. The color blocks on the bottom part are desert tones and the top part of the dog is soft clouds floating by.

Once the dogs are installed in May please be sure to take a tour through town and appreciate all the dogs and the talents of each artist. In September there will be an auction and each dog will be auctioned off - heading to their forever home.

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Abstract Landscapes

My new obsession is small watercolor abstracts on paper. There’s something magical and spontaneous about painting these pieces and having such a quick response because they are small and dry quickly. The hard part is not over doing it which I tend to do. So I must maintain a level of self control and let it go when it is done. But when do I know it’s done? This I make mistakes and some I throw away and some make it. For the most recent one I added mixed media additions including graphite pencil and conte crayon which i find so soul satisfying. Anyone else feel that way about Conte crayon?

For each piece I use tape to create the border - most are either 6x8 or 4x7 and then I paint…a layer at a time and see what happens. I may add a few splatters or drips which add dimension and interest. I have also experimented a little with lavender and pink - but only as accent colors because it can take over a piece and I really don’t want that as I prefer blues and greens to be the focus. When the piece is dry I remove the tape and sign the panting and then I am done.

Most paintings are available for purchase so just contact me through my site is you are interested.

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The evolution of botanicals

Years ago - I created a series of botanical sketches that were very minimalist with only a few colors and simple black lines. I sold TONS of them as prints and they were very successful. It’s been over 10 years since I created them and I wanted to try again but this time with mixed media on paper using using very diluted acrylics and pastel. So I bought 18x24 mixed media paper and set to work. I used varying shades of blue plus citron tones and pinks which is area popular right now - especially muted dusty rose or ash shades.

Once finished I brought them to my photographer in Berkeley and had them captured at high res and then I cleaned them up and set them up for art prints. The originals are also available - I like to get as much use out of my work as possible.

Check back again because I have a feeling there might be more on the way.

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I Compose My Own Earth...

I keep composing my own perception of the earth around me. I take walks in Briones or Hidden Lakes and I look at the layers of hills and I capture these views with my phone and then figure out how I can translate that same look onto my white wood boards that are waiting for me. 

I start with a simple outlines and then fill in the sections. Then - when each section is dry I paint them again..and then I paint them again so what happens is that each layer creates a life and texture and the layers on top don't take away from that life - they simply make it more interesting and if you think about it - aren't humans the same way? Our previous life experiences don't go away when we have new experiences - they are simply added layers to our lives. 

For my info about each of these works go right here

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Wrapping Up...

I am starting to wrap this years 100 Day Project.  I planned on being consistent and sticking to a theme or a style that carried through to the end but that was not to be. Today I am working on numbers 84 & 85 and things have veered off considerably. That's not necessarily a bad thing and it's a life lesson. We are told from a young age to plan for the future or to plan for a vacation or for buying a house or having children but no one tells us what to do when the plan changes. Like my art for example - the plan was one thing and it took a turn. Accepting that it's not a bad thing is the healthiest way for me to move forward - and it's a great opportunity to experience the unexpected. For me this means trying styles and subject that I haven't done before. Some failed but most did not - kinda like life - we try, we fail...we try again...we learn...we move forward; if you don't move forward then what? 

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100 more...

This year I decided to again join the 100 Day Project - which simply means 100 paintings in 100 days. This week I am at 54. Unlike last year I am not trying for 100 days straight - I have too many other distractions right now so my 100 days will stretch out a bit. And this year - unlike last year - I am being consistent in my subject and style with only a few exceptions. All will be abstract landscapes but some will be loose while others will be detailed and some will have lots of white space and others will have the paint filled into to every corner. All will be on 12x9 paper. 

Here are 47, 49, 50 & 51. 

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Studio Days

I've had a lot of family obligations lately and it has taken me away from creating new works. So each day I walk by my space and whisper quietly "maybe today".... Then I looked at the space filled with its colorful products of the creative mind - like dried paint and a box of pastels and stacks of paintings that need to be scanned and matted and framed + packaging items left over from the holidays when each day I was shipping prints or a few originals.  Life will calm down and I will find the time - and I hope it is soon. My need to create is part of my need to breath - it gives me life. 

So here's to 2018 and to new art, new creations, to color and joy and getting messy...to anticipation. 

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When paint and pastel collides

One night on my way home from work I had definite need to buy soft pastels because I needed to create with them...that night! So on the way home I stopped at Aaron Brothers - the nearest spot for art supplies and picked up a box of soft pastels. I have never had any instruction with them so I'm thinking I should probably go to You Tube and find a class or something...but that did not deter me and I preceded to paint - with very watered down acrylics - a series of abstract landscapes When they were dry I finished them off with pastels. I discovered this medium is REALLY messy - so my first attempts are a mess. But...I'm enjoying it and I know enough about art that you have to do something many times before you can really begin to understand it, or to get a handle on it...so that's what I am doing today. As I write this I have four abstract landscapes drying and when they are ready I will finish them off with pastels. 

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From Little to Big...

I like to paint small - the composition just works for me so last year I created a series of about 20 or 25 6"x6" paintings. There was one set of four that were all abstract mountain landscapes. They came out great and worked well in that size but I just had a client who liked them but needed them larger so I am recreating the paintings to be 20x20. I love a challenge and took it on. 

The challenge is how to take brushstrokes from a small painting and have it work - to have the composition work and make sense. Below are three views - one with my blank canvas and the mini that I am recreating, the next about halfway there and the third...the final piece. 

And - the clienet wanted two so I am onto the next one now - I will share that one next week. 

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