I first interviewed Jan Dalton when she was the President of the Summerville Artist Guild (SAG) back in January 2018. One of my upcoming columns in February will be on SAG and its current president/artist Jan Kelley, slated for the Feb. 12 edition.
I saw Dalton at the Dec. 7 grand opening of the new “ART on the Square” gallery at Nexton as the former Art Central downtown Summerville closed in July. The gallery is featuring more than 30 local award-winning artists including Jan’s works.
Regan: I am so impressed with the range of media and subjects you create—how do you do it?
Dalton: Often, it’s the subject determining the medium I use when creating a new piece. My inspiration can come from anywhere—nature, color, sound, light—even from my dreams and memories. I remember walking into a grandmother’s garden and how the light fell across her roses—I saw it, smelled it, loved it. I need to touch and create it – it’s a watercolor. Sometimes when a new medium or style catches my eye, I have a driving need to try and play with it and to create with it. I’m always on the lookout for something new to learn.
R: You are largely self-taught? How did you become an artist?
D: I have been drawing since I was 6 years old. My mother encouraged my painting in oils by the age of 10. I studied a little art in college but after that I went to work, leaving my art behind. 35 years later my husband and I retired, and we discovered Summerville. As planned, we moved and reinvented our lives, returning to what we love the most. My husband is a musician and I went back to my art.
R: You won 1st Place Winner at SAG’s 43rd Annual Judged Exhibition in Nov. at the North Charleston Art Gallery?
D: My mixed media painting, “The Golden Hour,” won there, and I beat out 65 other artists, which was quite an honor for me.
R: How are things going since the grand opening ART on the Square?
D: The Galley is so exciting. It has a wonderful open and friendly feeling. With so many artists, styles and mediums, it’s not unusual for people to spend long periods of time just enjoying the art--not to mention sales are very good.
R: You work in oil, watercolor (on Yupo paper), Batik watercolor (on Rice paper), oil pastel, acrylic, ink painting, and portraits.
Do you have a favorite medium? Can you explain Yupo paper and Batik watercolor?
D: I really don’t have a favorite medium. Each piece has its own vision or statement.
Yupo paper is a waterproof, tree-free synthetic paper. You can use any medium on Yupo and, since it’s non-absorbent, it has its own unique quality and appearance.
Batik watercolor on rice paper is a technique of using wax to block and seal layers of watercolor. This is an art that is becoming more popular and is a wonderful creative medium.
R: Any events at the gallery?
D: Yes, on Friday, Jan. 24 and again on Sat., Jan. 25 (same class offered again/based on how many register), I will be doing ART on the Square’s first workshop on Batik watercolor (on Rice paper) from Noon to 4 p.m. each day. For more information, go to: https://artonthesquare.gallery/.
R: What’s next for you?
D: We have put together a wonderful gallery and I am so blessed to be a part of this journey with so many fine artists. I will be painting and creating new art, exploring and learning new techniques. I will share what I have to share and continue to expand my horizons. I am living the dream.
Mary E. Regan, Columnist, is a Publicist with her ProPublicist consultancy. Story ideas? Email: Mary@ProPublicist.com.