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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

The Flow of Energy

“Flow is the nature of energy; flow is another name for life.” Banani Ray, Awakening Inner Guru. To be in the presence of the local artist Jan Griggs's paintings is an experience of calm centering and experiencing the human spirit’s vast capacities; it’s evident that painting is her passion! In Jan's words, "My work is a collection of places, feelings of color, light and dark, movement and stillness that I translate into nonrepresentational abstracts.” Jan’s bold, intense colors create tension and light with the movement and speed of her brush strokes. This action creates a plausible energy on the canvas surface. She considers a successful work as a connection that evokes emotion and energy that stays with the work's viewer.

Jan grew up in Spokane, Washington; her parents supported her creativity. She remembers playing the 'scribble game' for hours with her father from the earliest age. They would take turns placing a scribble on a sheet of blank drawing paper. The challenge, for the other, was to create an object out of that scribble. Fascinating early training for “considering images out of the box," identifying the possibilities in the simplest to the most complex lines. As a result, Jan grew up taking every art class that was available to her. Jan credits an older cousin who was an incredible artist and a high school teacher with influencing her creativity and considering art a possible career.

Jan completed a three-year professional degree program from Spokane Community College in Advertising and Graphic Design. She continued enrolling in workshops to keep her skillset fresh. Jan's education, training, and talent paid off as she became a graphic designer for various advertising agencies. She also worked as a wildlife illustrator for a company serving Alaskan cruise tourists. During this time, she ran her own business as a home staging expert. Finally, after 20 years in the design business, she and her husband Rick moved from Bellevue, Washington, to Arizona in search of the sun. Now Jan was looking for a new direction. She said, “When Rick received information on a workshop offered by Gwen Fox, a highly regarded artist coach, in Taos, New Mexico, he asked me if I wanted to attend. Of course, I didn't hesitate. That was on a Thursday, and I was in Taos by Sunday." Jan says, "That week I spent in Taos changed my life, ignited my passion for painting, and I never looked back." She credits her mentorship with Gwen Fox as the turning point in refining her surface application technique of color.

"My work is a collection of places, feelings of color, light and dark, movement and stillness that I translate into nonrepresentational abstracts.”

Today, Jan is an abstract painter and a mixed-media artist. She works from her home studio in the Scottsdale area. When asked what inspires her, Jan does not hesitate to say color! Which includes anything in nature, flowers, fabrics, textures, and just about anything she sees. She feels everyone has unique talents, which is the foundation to use to make your creations one of a kind to your style.

Jan is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in the annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour each November, as well as several other exhibits during the year. She is represented by Finer Arts Gallery in Cave Creek, Arizona; Jen Tough Gallery spring collective, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Portland on the Park in Phoenix, Arizona; and Camelback online gallery. Jan enjoys a faithful following of loyal clients, individuals, and corporate clients. With Jan's eye for design, texture, color, and unique compositions, her commission clients return to her repeatedly to provide just that right piece that will set the mood in their home or office.

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