Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Artist of the Month - Jane Davenport

I am very excited to share this month's artist with all of you.  Jane Davenport is an artist, author and shop owner from Byron Bay Australia. Yep, beautiful Australia. Jane's work is simply amazing and very diverse. Her new Sidekicks series created from her favorite colored pencils (more about that later) is so soft and beautiful. To start the post today, I'd like to share this great video that Jane created of her drawing the Zebra Crossing and the song that motivated her to draw the Sidekick Series.

I find her drawing so motivating that I've watched this video a bunch of times. I feel like I can reach right into the soul of the girl through her incredible eyes.

I was curious about how Jane gets her ideas and what motivates her work. She said,

"Hmmm...I work in Series. I have an idea and it takes a few images/ artworks to fully express it, delve in to it and explore it. I usually work in one medium per series. My memories and inner world are what mostly arrive out of my brush/pencils/camera. Nature inspires me and that is a constant."
Jane grew up drawing and continues to love it. She starts her day drawing at the beach while her husband surfs. What a way to start the day! She then goes home to create her art in one of her five studios. Yes, I said five. She has separate studios for Photography, Big paintings, Digital studio, Sewing and Crafts, and her Drawing/Art Journal/Water colors and Library area.  As you can see Jane has quite a diverse artistic life.

Not only does she create art, she also owns a Gallery in Byron Bay called The Institute of Cute.

The Institute of Cute is filled with Jane's other love, Ladybugs! All types of products including jewelry, clothing and even a surf board!

Jane also sells all her other artwork at the shop. So, if you are ever in Australia (love to go!) be sure to stop by for a visit.

Jane's love of drawing sent her off to school for Fashion Illustration. I have always had a dream of becoming a Fashion designer ever since I was young, so I wanted to know more. I asked Jane about her work surrounding Fashion, and here is what she said.

"I have always been around the industry especially in my 20's. My mother is Liz Davenport, an Australian fashion 'Icon' , having been in the ragtrade for over 35 years!  It's a super-high pressure career option. I had my epyonomous fashion label, but aside from working on the textile prints, I'm just not that entranced by fashion at present.  I have so many other things that ignite me, if I'm not passionate about something it just seems like hard work. 

My first job was as a fashion illustrator. I was actually at University doing Commerce and I was visiting my mother at her work, and I saw someone drawing up her Collections. I was amazed that sitting around drawing all day was a job! I chucked the Uni degree at the earliest opportunity, enrolled in Fashion College, and struggled away at sewing, but excelled at drawing and designing. My mothers illustrator left, and I applied for the job. Fashion Illustration is quite specific, you are presenting the Designers often scrappy sketches and ideas in a polished, stylised way.  My job grew to textile design, and then fashion design. But the commercial realities construe to make it nowhere near as exciting as you dream at fashion school! I got to do less and less drawing, and it was relegated to a hobby.  And I discovered photography and everything changed for me.  My latest blog post picks up my journey to becoming an artist from here. "

When I asked Jane if she would be my Artist of the Month for March, she said yes and "Can I talk about colored pencils?" They are her current favorite tool for illustration. I asked Jane, what she liked about colored pencils and what other types of medium she uses to create.  Here is what she said;
"Did you know that I have already declared 2011 as Year of the Colored Pencil? I am a complete coloured pencil nerd and am working on a series of reviews of all the different brands as they each have their own unique traits.  There is a lot to be said for them as an art tool as they so IMMEDIATE! No set-up time, no washing up or spills. No waiting to dry between layers.  I can use them at the beach because sand doesn’t worry them (sand and paint or oil pastels – bad combinations!)They are expressive and fun to use. And the colours….oh, the colours…

I also use acrylic paint, watercolor, ink, markers and pastels.  And I use them all together too. I am an Art Supply junkie and always adding to my hoard! A hopeless case."

Jane is also a remarkable Photographer. Her photos are so crisp and sharp, yet somehow soft. Her work has been published in various periodicals including Qantas Diary.

I really enjoy the feeling of clarity as well as mystery that I have when I admire Jane's photography.
Daisy's have always been my favorite flower. When I was a little girl, my bedrooms always had daisy wallpaper. Even now, my jewelry studio is painted daisy yellow with a lovely daisy photograph hanging on the wall in a prime spot.  I love the simplicity of the clean white petals and the more muted soft yellow centers.

Jane is planning on teaching her first E course soon. She is teaching at 21 Secrets - an Art Journal Playground. She said that she discovered Art Journaling herself about a year ago and it has changed her whole creative process and life.  I can't wait to sign up!
To find out more about Jane and visit her shops visit her blog and her websites listed below.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit with Jane and her art. Thank you so much for stopping by. Stacie


Jane Davenport | Artomologist said...

Oh, it's all about me! Thank yo Stacie, it was fun answering your questions.
Love to you,

stacie said...

Thanks again Jane for being my guest this month! I really enjoyed getting to know you better.

denice@inkstitch said...

What a lovely post! I didn't know Jane had a brick and mortar storefront (how did I miss that??) Her sidekicks series is awesome, and I've certainly gotten the urge to go play with pencils... also. I do adore her gorgeous photography... So much to love! This is a wonderful spotlight Stacie.

denice@inkstitch said...

Gasp! Just clicked over to the shop to see the new listings you've been tweeting. They are exquisite! What wonderful work, Stacie!

Renee @ where the grass is greener said...

Great post..I especially liked reading it with the music in the background. She is one talented lady!

stacie said...

Denice, thanks so much for your kind words. Jane does seem to have quite an amazing artistic life, storefront and all!

stacie said...

Renee, I love that song too. Might need to download it for my MP3 for walking.

Allison said...

Awesome! Everything is so perfect! I love the Owl piece in the video... the girl's closed eyes while the owl keeps watch...
And the photography too! Love the bee. Love it all!
I certainly can relate to the hoarding instinct.
This is a great spotlight.
Thanks for sharing! and I will also look forward to the E-class...

anne said...

What a great spotlight. I am constantly amazed by everything Jane does - gorgeous sketches, amazing paintings, stunning photography, inspiring ideas . . .and I'm sure so much more. Thanks for featuring her Stacie. ditto to Denice's comment on new stuff posted to etsy!

Alice Braga said...

Stacie, Jane's post brought me here, and I am thrilled to have learned more about her and her process. Five studios. Wow!

Thank you for sharing! And shining your own light as an artist.


stacie said...

Hi Alice, thanks so much for stopping by! I'll have to drop by the rabbit hole.

Rebekah Leigh said...

Great interview! I am amazed by Jane's ability with colored pencils! Her work is just so precise and beautiful! I too love that video, I am really intrigued by using video now as a way to show our creative practices. Go Jane and thanks Stacie for the fabulous interview! x

stacie said...

Thanks for stopping by Rebekah. Doesn't watching Jane work with the colored pencils make you want to break them out and do the same?