By Erin Knutson
Special to The Pioneer
Local artist Jan Zoras paintings, currently on display at the Radium Resort, leave an impression. Jans comprehensive body of work is as diverse as it is inspiring. Favouring mixed mediums, colour, texture and the use of shape, her combination of realism and abstract pieces allows the viewer to take a journey through multiple realities. The mediums I use depend on what Im doing. I dont have a particular favourite; its more about what Im trying to accomplish, she said.
After a predilection for art and a lifetime of observation, the inspired painter decided to hone her skills and foster her talent at Red Deer College. After taking three different classes and immersing herself in the mediums of acrylic, oil, and pastels she emerged as a solid force.
I paint because it feeds my soul. Since then, with just six short years of painting under her belt, she has amassed a fascinating collection of work. The Calgary-born painter feels a need to put her inner life onto canvas.
I paint big, she said. The abstract pieces are frequently displayed over three different canvases and can be viewed horizontally or vertically. It really depends on the viewer when looking at them. Some people love them horizontal, some love them vertical, she said.
The composition of her abstract work is flawless and presents a completely finished perspective, regardless of the positioning. Most of her work is inspired by her children, and extensive travel to places like Mexico and the Cayman Islands where she and her family lived for several years. On being fearless as an artist, the candid painter discloses that you can always paint over it.
You cant be afraid to make mistakes that is part of the process, making mistakes. Jan explained that a blank canvas can be intimidating to those starting out. Art can be about failing a thousand times and then having that moment where everything just sort of clicks.
The selfless painter described her process and her work as a way to give back. I would rather give back to the world; I hope to bring peace and satisfaction with it, she said. An avid canoeist, she loves to be on the water and feels inspired there.
Sometimes, I have the time like on a cold winter day Ill be walking and get inspired by whats in front of me, she said. Her realistic portraits are often landscapes, people, animals or her daughter Amy, who has posed semi-nude for a figure piece. Jan has three canvases going at all times and seems to have perfected her philosophy on life and art.
Its about focus, sometimes you can be focusing too hard on something and you just need to step back, or walk away for however long, and then you come back to it and you know what to do, she said. You just need to breathe.