Creating scenes full of life: An artist profile on Jan Whitney | SummitDaily.com

Creating scenes full of life: An artist profile on Jan Whitney

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

Painter Jan Whitney lives in the scenes she creates — and has for 30 years.

In the winter, Whitney resides "five minutes from the beach" in Stuart, Florida. She's spent 15 summers here in Summit County, in a Copper Mountain condo.

Whitney is one of over a hundred fine artists showing works this weekend in Breckenridge as part of the Mountain Art Festivals' 34th Annual July Art Festival at Main Street Station and The Village at Breckenridge.

The three-day show opens Saturday at 10 a.m., and runs to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Raised in New Mexico, Whitney's paintings are strong and vibrant, ranging up to 6-by-8 feet in size.

She describes her style as "heavy textured paints, and bold strokes in acrylic and oil with subject matter consisting of mountain scenes, seascapes, nauticals, figures, florals and Tuscan landscapes."

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Whitney and husband Don, an avid mountain biker, were attracted to Copper's "gorgeous mountains, constant fresh air, scent of pine trees, fabulous bike trails, peace and serenity."

The seascapes and nautical scenes come from their love for sailing the oceans.

For many years Don worked on charter boats in the Caribbean before buying a 39-foot Baltic, he sailed the Mediterranean extensively. He was also a crew member on larger sailboats.

"I sailed many three-weeks-at-a time trips with Don and often on a 115-foot sloop to St. Lucia, to the Grenadine Islands, stopping at each one like St. Vincent and Petite St Vincent, and in Mexico, we sailed around La Paz in the Sea of Cortez."

They also sailed out of Newport, Rhode Island, around Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, and sailed in California to Catalina Island.

As a former gallery owner in California, Whitney now shows her works in studios in New Mexico and Florida, where her originals, limited canvas editions and commissions are available. Ellis Clark Fine Arts is her exclusive publisher.

Earlier in her career, Whitney did 38 shows annually, a torrid pace cutback to about eight now.

In addition to the show this weekend, she will have her booth up again in the Mountain Art Festivals' 42nd Gathering at the Great Divide over Labor Day.

Her creations have been published in Architectural Digest, Arts & Antiques, New Mexico Magazine, Southwest Art, Decor, Art Business News, Florida Design, Better Homes & Gardens, La Vie Claire and Southern Accents Magazine. Her website is: WhitneyArt.com.