About Jan --- Compelling design and brilliant fine art

I am an artist from Western Colorado, creating textile art, mixed-media work, watercolor painting, and artisan jewelry.  Original fine art, as well as gifts featuring my designs and images, are offered on this site.

Fabric artist, art quilter, designer, and creator of clothing and accessories, Midwesterner transplanted to the west, inspired by the landscape and open skies of Colorado, animal lover, horsewoman, and contributing citizen of the Unaweep Canyon – all these make up my character and influence my artwork.

Jan Rickman Artist and Designer

I am optimistic by nature, sensing patterns and serendipity in my surroundings and the world. This sense of harmony informs my vision and invigorates my designs, influencing their balance of color and dynamic motion. I create abstract works in vivid tones as well as realistic renderings of the western landscape and artifacts. My four-piece textile series of horses rises off the surfaces of large wall pieces in brilliant colors that telegraph their vitality and wild freedom of spirit. Abstracts allow me to express the sense of dynamic movement I feel in a world where bodies are connected over time and space and share the harmonious motion of the cosmos. My certainty about pervasive design and purpose in the world translates into the brilliant colors and positive spirit of my work.

My textile process is hands-on and depends on the tactile manipulation of fabric and the addition of intense detail added through free-motion machine stitching. By folding and layering hand-dyed fabric I build texture as I lay out designs that I embellish with painting, stamping, bead work or metallic thread and paints. Collage plays a part in my aesthetic as well as designs that suggest views of deep space.

My grandfather, "Red," whose talk of a life in the Cody Wyoming area captured my imagination as a child, influenced my desire to live here. His Zane Grey reading and pictures of him on horseback affected my sense of the west as a mythic location that later inspired both the themes and underlying passions in my work. The cowboy boot series of art quilts, executed in brilliant colors and myriad designs, forms an homage to Red Bovard's influence on my development. Everyday sights of horses, ranches, cowboys, cattle and the sagebrush-covered acres exert tremendous influence on my work as well.

Abstraction appeals to me as a loosening of conventional methods for rendering reality. But it is also prompted by the west's wide horizons, the vastness of open spaces and mountains hovering along the far line of sight. These organic landscape features suggest a sense of possibility and expansion as seductive and lavish as the stars embedded in Colorado's night sky. The magnitude of the night sky connects me to the cosmos, seems to include me at the same time it reminds me of my relative significance. This sense of proportion shows up in my solar and cosmic series which seem related to views of space reminiscent of designs and configurations in photos beamed from Hubble and other space probes.

I conduct classes at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts and at my studio. I am active in the Western Slope art community, speaking for local quilt groups and jurying competitions. My work has won awards in national competitions and also been seen in local and traveling shows. In 2004 I collaborated with a local sculptor to create an installation for an office building in Grand Junction, Colorado. My sense that art should be fun keeps my palette vivid and designs energetic – I love life and want my work to exhibit vitality by the creative fusion of media based on my unique vision and designs.