Hi! I’m Jan Allsopp, an Australian abstract artist who believes that art adds a sense of peace, adventure, reverie and a whole gamut of positive emotions to your life and home. Living with art is both a journey and a comfort, an exploration jump off point and a cocoon for your soul, and I believe that art is for everyone.
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Colour, shapes and textures are ways I express my current life and its melding with my past. Recently I had the great pleasure of moving into what was my family’s beach-side holiday cottage. I find my days are punctuated with memories of people, events, objects, you know – the good old days. This has always been a happy place for me and living here has transformed my art. That’s me in the photo above, doing glamour poses on the deck circa 1975.
I think of my abstract paintings as saying what can’t be said with words. Abstraction allows me to express the intangible, the essence of a memory, place or time as well as the emotions from those good old days.
My earliest memories are of creating. If I didn’t have the toys I wanted, I made them. I wanted long hair so I made wool wigs. I wanted a pet rabbit so I made a costume and became a habit. I did all of this before I was in Kindergarten!
Fast forward to now. I usually have no fixed idea about the painting when I begin one. I layer acrylic paint, drawing media and collage elements (many from my father’s reference and notebooks I found in his workshop – now my studio). Once a memory is triggered or a connection recognised in the marks and colours I stay with it and develop it. Relationships between shapes and colours are what interest me most. As I go I add texture using my father’s tools, scraping, gouging and scratching back through previous layers of paint. This reveals the painting’s history. The paintings combine the past and the present. Many refer to the golden days of childhood holidays. Others reference snatches of other memories.
Right: Dad’s tools at the beach house
Click more for my art biography and artist statement. (Coming soon)