This story was featured in the August 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
When Colorado landscape painter Jane Hunt was growing up, her family seemed to be in perpetual motion. Between the ages of 8 and 15, Hunt moved back and forth three times between England and the United States thanks to her father’s career as an engineer. Reflecting back on the peripatetic nature of her childhood, Hunt thinks that the frequent settling and resettling created a constant feeling of homesickness, and today that feeling is what drives her art. “This yearning for home makes me create a sense of home in my work,” Hunt says. “If I can offer my viewers a connectedness to the landscapes I paint, I have done my job.”
Hunt, who earned a degree in fine art from the Cleveland Institute of Art, recently won a top award in the BoldBrush Painting Competition for one of her favorite paintings, AUTUMN ASPENS. The work was created last fall when she joined a dozen top women landscape artists on a painting trip to Walden, CO. The piece represents much of what she is trying to evoke emotionally in her work today. From a distance it emanates a sense of serenity and peacefulness, but up close there is a high-energy, almost chaotic feeling. To convey the chaos, she created a lush, layered texture by scraping and gouging the canvas with a palette knife. “I think that is the way life seems sometimes—serene from afar and chaotic up close,” Hunt says.
While many Colorado painters frequently focus on the grandeur of the Rockies, Hunt says in her paintings viewers can expect to find mountains playing supporting roles rather than being the stars. These days she is most often inspired by pastoral scenes. “A good creek running through a meadow is a favorite,” she says. “For me that scene has a nostalgic feel.” Observers often tell her such scenes are reminiscent of the English countryside, and Hunt agrees that her native England may influence her works. But the scenes are more likely to be inspired by locales across Colorado, specifically near Boulder, which she has called home for the past 20 years. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
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