Today we’d like to introduce you to Jane Wise.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started painting about 12 years ago after homeschooling my 2 children. During that time, I taught art classes. I quickly realized that I liked making the art more than teaching. So I started taking art classes with different artists. I started at Longwood Gardens with a plant illustration class because I enjoyed gardening and art.
Then I took some classes through Lancaster County Art Association with Karen Fratalli. Later classes were with Andy Smith of Lititz and additional ones with Larry Lombardo at The Art Center in Mechanicsburg. After Covid, I’ve taken a workshop with Pam Wenger and WatercolorLive twice. I kept trying to improve and learn new techniques. I ordered watercolor and art magazines and bought a bunch of Splash watercolor books.
I started following artists I admired on Facebook and Instagram. Over the last 10 years, I also was accepted into juried festivals and displayed and sold my art there. That was a learning experience. When Covid struck, I pivoted to entering more contests. Classes were closed mostly and festivals were shut down. I’m not technically inclined so teaching online classes did not appeal to me.
Last several years, I received signature status with the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and the Baltimore Watercolor Society. My greatest honor so far was a Rising Star award in the International Watercolor Masters competition. That put me in the top 25 competitors of 3000 entrants.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Selling has always been a struggle as I’m not a pushy type. I found that people will approach me if they want something. And I have stories to go with some of my art. I’ve had lots of experiences in life that include interesting stories too.
So once I relax and stop feeling inferior I’ve learned to just be myself. I also paint at these art fairs, not just to make use of my time, but to have something to talk about with passers-by, and to give mini art lessons to young people. It also helps break the ice with people.
There were dry times when I wasn’t inspired or ready to give it up and then I’d sell on original or win a prize or whatever. There were also some major health challenges in our family over the years and this taught me perseverance and forced me to be resourceful with finances and just proceed slowly.
It also helps that I felt called to do this painting journey after an answer to a prayer that I hadn’t told anyone about.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
When I started I just knew I wanted to do art. The first class I took was watercolor and I progressed in that direction. I do realistic watercolors of mostly nature and nostalgia subjects.
That said I like variety in life and I like to challenge myself to do different and increasingly difficult subjects. So I’ve also done portraits and landscapes. I’m constantly taking reference photos of things that capture my attention. So whatever excites me most at the moment is what I paint.
I’m most proud of the “Clowning Around” work that got me into a number of shows and the IWM top 25 award. I’m not sure what sets me apart. I try to have my own way of looking at life and I try to stay curious.
- Originals-$150.00 to $3500.00
- Prints-$20.00 to 75.00, framed $150.00
- Notecard packs-$20.00
- Website: JaneWiseArts.weebly.com
- Instagram: @janewise2018artist
- Facebook: JaneWiseArts