Painting the landscape - Jane Hunt, "Ablaze,” oil, 30 x 24 in.
Jane Hunt, "Ablaze,” oil, 30 x 24 in.

by Laura Vailati
Art enthusiast and Editor at Miami Niche

“I am very interested in the emotional aspect of paintings, and plein air – painting nature from life – is about colors, moods, and their reactions,” said Jane Hunt, the 12th most awarded landscape artist in the United States.

Jane Hunt will exhibit at the 11th Annual Plein Air Convention and Expo (PACE), to be held this year at the Great Smoky Mountains & Biltmore Estate, North Carolina, May 20-24.

Originally from England, Jane currently lives in Colorado. She moved to the U.S. when she was a teenager and earned a bachelor’s degree in Illustration from the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. She began studying medical illustration, but when she found herself, for the first time, working with a cadaver, she realized she was too sensitive to do so.

She then switched to illustration but, in her heart, she always wanted to be an artist. Her paintings prove this. She says she believes studying illustration gave her a solid foundation in the fundamentals of drawing, composition, and the study of tonal and color values, among others.

Jane Hunt, “Last Light,” plein air, 8 x 10 in.
Jane Hunt, “Last Light,” plein air, 8 x 10 in.

Jane’s process is the same quest for the sublime perpetrated by J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), who together with Claude Monet (1840-1926,) represents for her a kind of spiritual guide.

Living and growing up in London and frequently visiting the wing dedicated to Turner at Tate Britain; traveling extensively, even to the point of losing herself in the gardens of Monet in Giverny, France, were just some of the factors that fueled in her the desire not to want to follow “deadlines to be respected” but rather emotions to be expressed.

Her way of making art follows the flow of her emotions, which she “fixes” on small preparatory sketches – sometimes 3 x 2 inches – made in plein air and in which she proceeds with blocking of shapes while maintaining four (sometimes two) tonal values.

Her multi-layered brushstrokes follow the cadenced rhythm of nature’s elements while texture, which she spreads with palette knives, lends three-dimensionality to the painting.

Jane Hunt, “Lavender Farm,” Oil on Gessoboard, 10 x 16 in.
Jane Hunt, “Lavender Farm,” Oil on Gessoboard, 10 x 16 in.

While devoted to plein air painting, the artist also often works in the studio where she refines or reworks the sketches made in plein air, sometimes simply finishing them, sometimes reproducing a magnified detail or frame of the scene, sometimes completely reworking the composition.

The Plein Air Convention and Expo (PACE) will be an opportunity to listen to the teachings and advice of Jane Hunt who, along with Mark Shasha, in addition to being ‘on field’ to follow up face-to-face with the participants, will also be featured in a critique session.