Sunday, April 22, 2012

Jane Peterman

Name: Jane Peterman

What do you do?
I paint large nonobjective abstract paintings.  My favorite format is 52 x 54 inches which is how wide my hands can reach.

Where can we find your work?
At the moment in the Statewide Exhibition of Painting at the Triton Museum, online on my website,, and by visiting my studio, 4030 Transport, Palo Alto, CA 94303.  I'm also represented by BayVAN Artist Registry for 2012,

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
One of the things I did to combat a severe depression was a nurturing arts class one weekend a month for two years.  We did simple exercises that emphasized the process of making art such as drawing a piece of fruit after touching but not seeing it or drawing the creation story on 6x6 inch pieces of paper after hearing Genesis verses read one at a time.  We always sang.  These experiences were deeply fulfilling and I try in my art practice to recreate that glorious soul nurturing feeling.
What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
I'm a process painter.  It's all about the touching of the pigment to the surface and what happens after.  Bringing a painting to a finish is actually pretty difficult after the fun of exploring at the beginning.  The last 5 percent takes great discipline for me.

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you? 
Being self taught I have had the freedom to explore art history in a rather random and disorganized way.  I have a long list of artists I've admired and studied but I think the ones that are most important are those working from a spiritual place.  The book, The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985 Maurice Tuchman (Editor)   affected me strongly.  A few names of artists important to me are Rothko, Kandinsky, Gabrielle Munter, Alice Neel, Agnes Martin and Richard Diebenkorn.  Local  rtists I admire include Squeak Canrwath, Ines Storer,  Ruth Asawa, Tim Craighead and Patrick Dougherty.  I could go on and on...

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
Jack of all Trades but master of at least a few?

When do you get your best ideas?
Sometimes ideas come to me outside the studio, but mostly they from  standing there in my studio, looking and trying to figure out what's next.   Last spring I was painting a canvas while the earth was bursting forth with rich growth. After I finished the painting (my studio has no windows)  I realized that the painting reflected what was happening in nature.  I named it “Spring Refreshment”. 

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
I love to use plastic sheets as printmaking plates, slathering on paint and making marks in the wet paint, then applying the plate to a canvas in process.  I use a lot of palette knives, scrapers and pointy tools.  Everything is an art material in some way.

Are you self taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I am self-taught in art.  I did a lot of painting in the beginning supplemented by reading books about composition and design and then plowing through a bibliography of about 30 books recommended to me by workshop teachers and trying to apply what I learned to my painting.  There is a freedom in pursuing a course of interest outside a university class but you can fail to learn things you should know.  I'm weak on art history before 1880.

What would your creative work taste like?
Beef Bourguignon.  Meaty, rich flavorful, hearty.  At least I hope so.

When you are not creating what do you like to do?
I like to cook and ride dirt bikes.  I get to cook more than I get to ride dirt bikes.

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
I think artistic talent is within everyone and we who get to tap into art making daily are very lucky.   Because I came to art making by experiencing the process when the product was not important I didn't judge my early results and just kept making more stuff.  The reward was in the doing.  I think that a good way to work.  I'm quite distressed that schools sacrifice art first in their attempt balance budgets.  Art feeds the soul and every child needs it.

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?  
Just do the next thing, whatever it is.  Make another piece of art, get a business card, make another piece of art, take pictures of your art, make another piece of art, do the next thing.  Just keep going.

1 comment:

  1. Jane...I never knew you rode dirt bikes! This I've got to see! Oh, and I totally love your artwork too. :-)