I have long been fascinated by images of the human form. I studied art and science in college, earned an MS in Medical Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia, and illustrated medical textbooks depicting critical aspects of human anatomy for many years. Although much of my career has focused on my work as a medical illustrator, I began my formal studies in fine art and have always maintained that interest as my primary personal artistic goal.
For me, the human figure is the ultimate challenge for the artist since it is such a complex yet familiar form. We are all surrounded by specific expressions--a frowning mouth, flirting eyes, or a hand showing off a new engagement ring. In daily life everyone interprets these with ease, and even if we do not know the individual personally, we are able to judge immediately if artistic representations are somehow inaccurate. The human figure is one of the most universal subjects an artist can engage with, but also the most difficult.
I enjoy the challenge of looking very carefully at the specific unique forms which make up the features of an individual and the challenge of trying to accurately portray color, particularly the subtle variation of dark colors found in shadow areas. I am interested in the relationship of the figure to a specific environment and to the other objects and beings that share the same space. Since my recent visit to Mongolia, I have been captivated by the relationship between the Eagle Hunters and the terrifyingly powerful golden eagles they capture and train to assist them as they hunt on horseback across the harsh and beautifully austere west Mongolian landscape.
I have been fortunate enough to study under a series of diverse and exceptional professional artists from whom I have received many clues and much guidance. I especially acknowledge Frank Armitage, with whom I worked closely at Walt Disney Imagineering, Jan Stussy at UCLA Extension, and Yuji, master professor of painting at Cal State Long Beach.
Jan's work has been featured in many shows including the Cleveland Museum of Art May Show where she received Special Mention for Graphics and the Ohio Women Artist Show at the Butler Museum in Youngstown, Ohio. Jan is a member of the California Art Club, SoCal Artists and Laguna Plein-Air Painters as well as the Association of Medical Illustrators and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. She worked as a Show Designer on the Ride Through the Human Body with Frank Armitage, acclaimed film artist for the movie Fantastic Voyage. In her career as a medical illustrator she has illustrated many books including the Biomechanics of a Baseball Pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Endemic Plants of Fiji. She also wrote and illustrated a series of children's books, "Inside Stories."
Jan lives in Long Beach, CA where she has raised two daughters, a dog, and a wonderful husband.