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Profile of Jan Nelson

Jan Nelson in the studio

Janet (Jan) Nelson was born in Glasgow in 1956 and brought up on the East coast of Scotland. Mainly self-taught, she studied for three years at Leith School of Art and has been painting for over 25 years.

Jan works full time from her studio overlooking the beautiful Kyles of Bute, where work can be combined with her other great love of sailing. She makes regular trips around the coast of Britain to observe the changing scenery and take part in activities which inspire her work. The sailing paintings aim to capture the tremendous movement, thrills and glorious colours of sailing, both in scenic and a racing sense.

To instil the emotional impact of sailing in her paintings, Jan likes to get out on the water as often as work will allow! This year she has been sailing on a Hawk20 at North Berwick; will be racing offshore in the West of Scotland on a Maxi1300; will be crewing on a Hunter Formula One at Rutland Water during the National Championships in June and then heading off for some warm water sailing at Marmaris in Turkey later in the year! Last year, Cowes Week was spent racing on Clipper 68 - 'Derry-Londonderry', which had just returned with the rest of the Clipper Fleet after their round the world race. The adrenalin rush and action on board the boat that week has been a great inspiration for many of the recent racing paintings.

Although the majority of Jan's work relates to the sea, she is also an accomplished landscape painter where a passion for nature comes to the fore, particularly in her floral works. She works mainly in Acrylic or oil, depending on the subject matter. In her work she makes extensive use of impasto techniques - laying the paint on thickly using both brush and palette knife - the paint itself, in its reflection of light and the speed and strength of its application, echoes the subject matter. Her versatility means she can switch easily from detailed sea and sailing pieces to abstracts and change medium to suit.

Jan concentrates her work within a few select galleries around the United Kingdom and paintings can also be found in numerous private collections worldwide.

Jan helming the 'Medina'

View the art work of Jan Nelson