See Jane is a series of small portraits of women that I will be producing and posting every day in 2022. These modestly priced works allow nearly anyone to own a piece of original art. My house is filled with original art that I’ve bought from artists on city streets, estate sales and junk shops. Original art is precious to me. I love owning something that no one else in the world has. I didn’t grow up in a home with the means to afford art, but my mother was someone who didn’t believe that money had anything to do with taste or style or beauty. I believe everyone deserves to own a piece of original art. All of the frames are reclaimed. There’s a lot of beauty in the discarded and I want to give these objects a second life and keep them out of the landfill. Some have minor flaws, but don’t we all? We’re not made less beautiful by these imperfections.
I’ve always found Jane to be a lovely, elegant name, but it’s also a name heavy with cultural references. Plain Jane is a way to describe a woman who isn’t beautiful. Oddly, I can’t think of the male equivalent to this. Jane Doe is the name we give a woman to protect her anonymity in cases of rape and violence. It’s also the name given to women who are found murdered and are not yet identified. And then there are the Dick and Jane books of my childhood. Jane was a blonde haired, blue eyed girl unlike me or most girls I knew, but she was meant to represent the idealized girl. None of the women in the series are actually named Jane, they are not anonymous, but I wanted very much to honor all of those Janes who deserved better. The women in this series are layered with color, life and experience.
Each small portrait comes with a small back story. These aren’t meant to be biographies. These quirky facts accompany the paintings and they are meant to introduce you to your portrait. You need to sit with her, look at her, and listen to learn more about who she is. None of the fact patterns share her age or anything about whether she has children or is single or married. It was important to me not to write about who these women were in relationship to other people, but just as individuals all on their own.
I also very much love the idea of sending these women to travel all over the world. I used to travel all of the time for work and pleasure, but much has changed. Sending these small portraits out into the world is a way to make contact and fulfill my wanderlust.