Oct 29

Behind The Scenes With Artist Jane Petito

Behind the Scenes with Artist Jane Petito | lark & linen
As a blogger, every once in a while I get approached by a company, or a brand, to test out their products, or see their work for myself in person. It is, of course, a wonderful perk of this job, and one I’m infinitely grateful for. It allows me to familiarize myself with tons of different products, artists, textiles and the like. And it has introduced me to some of my very favourite people in the world. Jane Petito, is one of those people. She kindly gifted me a few of her pieces a few months ago, and I was absolutely blown away by each one. They’re simple and elegant, but have a depth and a soul that I can’t quite describe. They are, hands down, some of my very favourite pieces I own. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised when the woman behind the work was equally as incredible. It’s an honour to be sharing more about her below… 

If there are any other makers or entrepreneurs you’d like me to feature in this series, please let me know in the comments below. And feel free to check out the others here!

Behind the Scenes with Artist Jane Petito | lark & linen
How did you get started?[break]
I am so fortunate to have grown up with a mother who is an artist. Early on, she taught me to draw and paint, and, most importantly, to trust the power of my own observation; rather than paint all tree trunks as “brown”, for example, she told me to look closer. What a fabulous realization it was for a 5-year-old that tree trunks could actually be shades of purple or orange! For me, this was where the fun began.

During high school and college, I painted portraits and still life pieces as a hobby, experimenting with various media. I even found a way to squeeze an easel into the corner of my first 400 square foot apartment in New York City. Art has always been a necessary form of meditation for me.
However, it was motherhood that allowed art to become a bigger part of my life. I left my work in finance upon the birth of my first child, and was drawn to more creative outlets, especially painting. I began creating abstract pieces daily, choosing to express memory and emotion around a moment in time, rather than a realistic representation of a scene. I found myself most inspired by memories of my time on the west coast in Big Sur and Tofino.
I work with oils on cotton and linen canvases, using spontaneous brushwork to build and remove colour, and to distress and smooth texture. A composition forms naturally through dozens of semi-transparent layers of colour, with my process allowing for uncontrolled moments of beauty on the canvas. Ultimately, I strive to find a balance between abstraction and representation, and to keep my works minimal yet evocative.

Behind the Scenes with Artist Jane Petito | lark & linenBehind the Scenes with Artist Jane Petito | lark & linen
Where is your workspace and what do you love most about it?[break]
I work out of my home studio on Vancouver Island. I most love the openness of my studio, and its connection to both nature and my home. One set of studio doors opens to our garden, and on lucky days, I can smell a sea breeze as I work. The other set of studio doors opens directly to our living area, which allows me to paint throughout the day, depending on the schedule of my two young toddlers.

Behind the Scenes with Artist Jane Petito | lark & linen
When your creativity well has run dry, what do you do to get inspired again?[break]
I paint with my kids! Witnessing the freedom of a 1-year-old and 3-year-old in the creative realm always inspires me. Their approach reminds me what a liberating practice painting can be; on canvas, a “mistake” can turn into something exquisite.

Behind the Scenes with Artist Jane Petito | lark & linen
What colors, textures, and materials are inspiring you at the moment?[break]
Memories of shadow forms on the forest floor of Muir Woods, near my old home in Marin County, California are inspiring my newest series. Later this year, I will release a few large pieces in the Muir series with dark, earthy tones and playful compositions.

Behind the Scenes with Artist Jane Petito | lark & linen
What upcoming project are you most excited to work on right now?[break]
A lovely New York-based collector has commissioned me to produce a 6 foot by 4 foot piece, inspired by my painting, “Big Sur No.1“. Creating the effect of diffused light through layer after layer on such a large scale will be a wonderful challenge!
At this point, most of my work is on a commission basis for private collectors. I approach the paintings individually, but also consider how they will harmonize with each client’s environment. It is such a joy for me to contribute atmosphere and meaning to someone’s home through my paintings.

Photography & Artwork: Jane Petito

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  1. “I had no idea architects and interior designers in Delhi put so much effort and creativity into their designs. Thanks for opening my eyes!”

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