Janet (Jan) Nelson is mainly self-taught, she studied for three years at Leith School of Art in Edinburgh and has been painting for over 25 years. She now works full time from her studio overlooking the beautiful Kyles of Bute, where work can be combined with her other great love of sailing.
Jan 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 a scenic and racing sense. To maintain that genuine ‘feeling’ in the paintings, this year Jan has raced in Scotland on a Hawk-20 Dayboat and also on a Hunter Formula One cruiser at Rutland Water during the National Championships
Previously, Jan spent Cowes week racing on a 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 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. She concentrates on acrylics but paints well in watercolour and oils 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.