Wanaka based artist Jane Shriffer has transitioned from gallery manager to artist while juggling her young family. We spoke to Jane to get an insight into her work...
Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get started and what kind of background did you come from?
I grew up in Dunedin and my favourite subject in high school was always art. So it was a natural decision to then go on to Dunedin School of Art to complete a bachelor of Fine Arts. I majored in painting and graduated back in 2006. I think I’ve just always had artiness in my bones.
Your work seems full of joy. Do you have a special space or routine to get into the right headspace?
I am so lucky to live in beautiful Wanaka so I’m constantly surrounded by stunning scenery. I always walk my dog around the lake once I’ve dropped my son at kindy which clears my mind and gets me pumped for a painting session. I have 3 mornings a week child free so getting into the studio (my garage) is my precious ‘me time’ in which I let the colour and emotion flow. It’s nice to exit ‘mum life’ and lose myself in a creative zone..... my happy place. Oh, and did I mention a strong coffee is always involved!
What is the most surprising reaction you have had to your work?
I think being an abstract painter my works are always open to interpretation, which I love. I haven’t had too many surprising reactions, but I’m often surprised by who buys my work!
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive who would you choose to work alongside?
I am a long-time Jackson Pollock fan so I would love to spend a day flicking paint around with him.
There’s a certain level of vulnerability in sharing your art with others, particularly online. Do you worry about people judging you and how do you handle negative feedback/comments?
After years of managing a local gallery here in Wanaka I was reminded every day from client comments that art is one of the most subjective things ever!!! I think the beauty is that everyone is attracted to different styles and mediums. So I know my style is not everyone’s cuppa, but that’s totally fine by me.
If your five-year-old self suddenly found themselves inhabiting your current body, what would your five-year-old self do first?
Haha probably something involving flexibility...... that seems to have disappeared over the years!!
And finally the most important question of the day: which way should toast be cut - straight up and down or on a diagonal?
Straight up and down all the way .... but I do have a toddler who demands I mix it up occasionally!!
Jane's exhibition 'No Expectations' opens 23 October.
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