Profile of the Week: Jane D. Girardot (posted February 26, 2012)

Welcome to the latest installment of Portfolio of the Week, where we are delighted to present to you Jane D. Girardot from Jamul, California, USA!

Jane creates stunningly realistic paintings in acrylics, including florals, nature scenes, and portraits of people and pets. Her meticulous painting style, combined with her vivid color palette, makes her paintings a wonder to behold. 

When you view Jane's portfolio, be sure to click on each piece of artwork to see it larger! You can view Jane's artwork here:

Join us now for this inspiring interview with Jane:

How would you describe your art? 

My art is realistic, detailed and colorful. It is how I view the world around me. When painting, usually I am trying to re-live the experience of how I felt when I was there, for example, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the smell of the ocean air. I imagine that I am either walking down that beach or looking down at a waterfall and enjoying the nature all around me. My original inspiration for many of my coastal paintings is from the dream of looking through a window and seeing my favorite places on the other side. When others view my art, I would like them to feel like they are experiencing the painting as if they were there in person.

How long have you been an artist?

I have enjoyed drawing and coloring since I was young. But in high school my art teacher told me that I had a lot of talent and I should explore that more. I took some drawing classes in college, but did not have time or money to pursue it further. I was lucky enough to step out of the workforce in 2007 and have been painting ever since. I average about 6-10 paintings a year now.

What is your favorite medium and why?

My favorite medium is using acrylics because the colors on canvas are so brilliant and the paints dry fast. I’ve also done paintings with watercolor and occasionally oils.  

What are some of the challenges in working in acrylics?  

Because acrylics dry rapidly, you need to work fast if you wish to blend the colors. Early on, the paints that I mixed on my palettes dried so quickly it was hard to go back and match colors perfectly. I now use ‘stay-wet’ palettes that are plastic enclosures with a damp sponge and waxed paper to keep my mixed paints fresh for a week or more. These have solved my problem of matching my colors over short periods of time as well as making it easier to blend.

How did you learn to draw/paint? (self-taught, school, lessons, etc) 

I took a few drawing classes in college and an oil painting class a few years ago. But for the most part, I am a self-taught artist by drawing what I see around me. I started painting for my own enjoyment in 2007. I have been told by other artists that I should just keep painting rather than classes to allow my own style of painting to develop and emerge. I do spend a good deal of time studying what I’m going to paint and composing my art prior to any paint on canvas. I also enjoy photography quite a bit and I think that helps me in my painting.

Who or what has influenced your art?

When I was twelve, I spent the weekend at a girlfriend’s home whose mother was an artist that painted oil portraits from photography. Instead of playing with my friends, I spent the day sitting and watching her Mom paint. I was mesmerized and knew that painting was something I would like to learn.

What inspires you?

The ocean and beaches inspire me to paint. As a “native Californian”, I grew up living along the coastal areas of California and I have a deep appreciation for nature and the beauty of the ocean. My passion for California beaches, tropical islands, flowers and the colors of nature quickly became my primary subject matter, as well as my inspiration. I am a very positive person and also tend to see the beauty in things that other may just glance over. I truly enjoy capturing the elements of nature in detailed realism in my paintings and photography.

How do you make time for art?

Since I am now retired, I can paint whenever I am inspired or in the mood. When I was working, I did not have the time or energy to draw or paint. I rarely was inspired to do anything other than photography. Painting always makes me happy and gets rid of stress, so I want to paint all the time now.

What is your favorite subject matter and why?

Lately, my favorite subject matter has been flowers but many of my first paintings were ocean or beach related. The detail, color and complexity of flowers when you are close up is amazing. I’ve tried portraits, landscapes and some animals just to try something different and stretch my skills. I tend to paint subjects that are colorful and very detailed. I like realism in my art and my paintings tend to be very colorful. When I look at them, I want to feel like I would want to be there or have the feeling of being uplifted and happy.

What's the best art advice anyone has ever given you?

Study the subject you are going to paint first, learn it and get to know it well. Then, paint what you see (everyone sees the subject matter differently). How you see it and paint it will become your style of art.

Do you have any tips or advice for your fellow artists?

Make sure that you are inspired by the subject matter enough that you will not get bored with a very detailed large painting. Use ‘stay wet’ palettes for keeping mixed acrylic paints fresh for weeks. When you get stuck with any part of your painting, go and get inspired again and do some research on the section you are having difficulties with. Then go paint, paint, paint….

Tags: acrylics, girardot, jane, portfolio, potw, profile, realism, week

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Hi Jane, your art is absolutely unforgettable!!! Love it!!!!

I <3 U! You're so awesome! I can only hope to be as good as you one day!

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