New From the Luangwa River



JUST SOLD by Mirada Fine Art!

Jan Fordyce, Colliding Swirl, 40x60 oil, $4200.jpg

©2017 Colliding Swirl, 40x60 oil on canvas
Thank you Mirada Fine Art Gallery!

New from the studio!
©2018 Jan Fordyce, Luangwa Remembrance, 36x48 oil and resin on canvas

Jan Fordyce, Luangwa Remembrance, 36x48 oil and resin on canvas $3800 retail.jpg

New from the studio!
©2018 Jan Fordyce, Luangwa Radiance, 40x60 oil and resin on canvas


Jan Fordyce, Luangwa Radiance, 40x60 oil and resin on canvas, $4200 retail.jpg

The Luangwa River
The two new paintings; Lauangwa Radiance and Luangwa Remembrance, are inspired from our trip to Zambia and time spent by the Luangwa River. We spent a week by the Luangwa and crossed the river multiple times. What struck me most was the serpentine flow of the river from the air, and the curvilinear shapes of its banks. The colors of the Luangwa and surrounding bush were a palette of neutrals: grays to beige tones. That all changed when the sun set in the evening. As we stopped each night to see the sunset, the African sun became a big orange ball that reflected on the river and then become tones of oranges, reds, magentas and purples. The color palette of the river has influenced my current body of work especially, a complete change from the blues and turquoise of other water sources. Look for the curvilinear shapes in the paintings reflecting the river.

The Lauangwa River crosses Zambia and where we visited, at the South Luangwa National Park is a major water source for the wildlife. We watched as elephants, lions, impala, zebras and giraffes made their way down to this important water source each day. Hippos spent the day day in the river as protection from the sun. It is also a rich environment for birdlife. It is truly the lifeline for the animals for their very survival, particularly in the dry season when we visited.

The Luangwa River eventually flows as a major tributary into the Zambezi River- the river that goes over Victoria Falls. As I continue this series of work inspired by the water and the river in Zambia, the inspiration of Victoria Falls will also make an appearance as will more paintings from the Luangwa.

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IMG_2889 (1).jpg

Above the cover of, Denver Life Home+Design Fall Winter 2017, featuring a wonderful article about Mirada Fine Art Gallery and some artists from the gallery including a painting of mine!



Finally some good snow for skiing! Ellie loves the new snow and a ski at the nordic track at Devil's Thumb Ranch, Colorado.

Gratitude in a World of Wonder


Jan Fordyce, Beneath the Surface #1, 36x48 oil and resin on canvas, $3800 retail.jpg
Jan Fordyce, Beneath the Surface #2, oil and resin on canvas, $3800 retail.jpg

These painting were inspired by the clear waters of the Agean Sea and the flicker of shapes beneath the surface of the water distorted by the light and movement of the water.

Jan Fordyce, Water Waves, 16x16 mixed media.jpg




 Gratitude in a World of Wonder

As an artist my passion is creating art. It is pretty much an everyday affair- whether it is time in the studio, looking at art or just observing the world around me for inspiration. As an artist some days the painting goes well and other days it is a struggle. At times I ask myself: “ Does this work?” “Is it any good?” For me questions are a part of the process of creating. As I put my work out into the world, in the back of my mind is the questions: “Will someone want it?” I am always thrilled and grateful when someone purchases or even admires the work. I started writing this newsletter because I wanted to share my work and the process of painting and what inspires me as an artist. In this season of thanks and gratitude I want to thank all of you who have read this newsletter and have written back kind comments. It truly means the world to me that my artwork resonates with you and hearing those words helps shake the doubts and keeps me moving forward- sometimes taking risks, and not always succeeding, but happy to be in the process of creating. A big thank you to all of you whose support I feel. My gratitude to each of you. 

We live in a world of wonder and one of the 8th Wonders of the World is Victoria Falls in Zambia. The last stop of our recent Africa trip was to see Victoria Falls, or as it is called in Zambia, Mosi-o-tunya which means the smoke that thunders. It is considered the largest falls in the world with combined width of the canyon on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The deep black volcanic gorge is dramatic enough and then seeing the Zambezi River fall off the sheer black cliffs creating a smoke like mist is stunning and can be seen from miles away. 

I have just started a painting from our visit to the Luangwa River and am excited to tackle  paintings of the falls in the future. Both river and falls are an inspiration for many paintings to come. The wonders of nature are truly an inspiration and for that, I am always thankful.

Mosi o Tunya air 3Victoria Falls.jpg

Mosi-o-tunya (Victoria Falls) as seen from the air.

Mosi o Tunya 12Zimbabwe.jpg

Mosi-o-tunya (Victoria Falls) as seen from Zimbabwe.

All photos taken by Peter Fordyce.

African Patterns



Below the Surface.jpg

©2017 Jan Fordyce, Below the Surface, 30x40 oil and resin on canvas

New painting from the studio exploring patterns in water and how what is below the surface influences what is seen on the surface. 

Jan Fordyce, Expanding, 36x48 oil on canvas, $3800.jpg

©2015 Jan Fordyce, Expanding, 36x48 oil on canvas on exhibit at:
All Colorado Show Art Show
at the Curtis Center for Arts and Humanities

Show runs from Oct. 14- Dec. 23, 2017
Hours: M-F 8:30-4:30, Sat. 10-4

Please join me at the opening reception on Oct. 14th from 6-8!

Address: Curtis Center for Arts and Humanities
2394 E. Orchard Rd. Greenwood Village, Co. 80121


©2017 Jan Fordyce, Water Jewels10"x10" each, resin and mixed media

I have been experimenting with some resin and mixed media on panels exploring the ideas of water in different forms. Here are a couple of my newest pieces. I call them little water jewels.

©2017 Jan Fordyce, Water Jewels Ripple, 16"x16" resin and mixed media.



African Patterns

We just returned from an amazing trip to Africa. We traveled to Johannesburg South Africa to on Zambia where we spent most of our time viewing the amazing animals and meeting the warm friendly people of the area. Throughout the trip a word kept coming up as I was visually describing the visual images I was seeing, and that was: PATTERNS.  From the beautiful spots of the leopard’s coat to the colorful patterns of the village women’s clothing I was struck on how patterns were all around me. 

Our guide asked me the first morning we were out on safari what animals I really wanted to see, so I told him elephants, zebras and giraffes. For him that was an easy task as around the corner we saw our first couple of giraffes. The pattern of their geometric design covered them from head to hoof and darkened as they aged. The giraffe were quite accommodating in posing for photos. They are such an awkward tall creatures with little heads but very calm and quite humorous as one would slyly nudge the other out of the way so he could have center stage for a photo.

The zebras did not display calm and were a bit skittish as we approached. Their amazing black and white curved stripes were perfectly placed around their heads and bodies almost as if graphic designer had painted them on. Our guide told us that when a lion approaches they will huddle together and create an optical illusion to confuse the lion visually. 

The leopard was for me the most beautiful of the animals we saw. The spotted coat was perfectly adapted for the filtered light of sun coming down through the trees. At times, it was very hard to spot a leopard even when one was pointed out. 

The women in the village teated us to some traditional dancing and preforming in their colorful patterned clothing. Each woman was so beautiful in her own way and so warm and friendly.

Even the landscape provided patterns, especially when we were out in the late afternoon and the sun was going down. The beautiful Luangwa River and land around it offered lots of inspiration for future paintings. 

As I look at my paintings of water, I notice patterns constantly occurring in the water shapes and reflections that intrigue me visually and inspire my work. I now have many addition ideas and patternsfrom Africa to inspire future paintings.

 photo by Peter Fordyce

photo by Peter Fordyce

Giraffe patterns.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce

Leopard patterns.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce

Water patterns.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce

Zebra patterns.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce

Colorful clothing patterns.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce

Landscape patterns.

Path of Totality




©2016 SURFACE PATTERNS, Just sold by Mirada Fine Arts! Thank you! 



New painting from the studio!
©2017 Jan Fordyce, Sun Ripple, 36x48 oil on canvas



New painting from the studio!
© 2017 Jan Fordyce, Whisper of Light, 24x24 oil on canvas

The Path of Totality: Eclipsing Art

The journey to the path of totality took us ( family and friends ) to the heartland of Nebraska and a family farm in Ringgold to witness the 2017 eclipse. The host family went all out with mid-western hospitality, great farm-to-table meals and a after dinner lecture by a solar astrophysicist from NASA. The camping area was filled with people from all over the U.S. but also from France, Denmark, and The Netherlands. Our camp neighbor was from Scotland. Everyone was excited in anticipation of what we were about to witness. Sunday, the night before the eclipse was sunny and clear, but we woke up to dense fog the day of the eclipseand worried that it may not be clear enough to see what we all came here to see. Fortunately the fog lifted and the skies were blue and clear. People set up their telescopes and cameras. Everyone got out their eclipse glasses in anticipation. At the scheduled time, ( accurately determined by scientists ) the first little edge of the sun was blocked by the moon, first contact.  We watched the progression over the next hour or so noting how the light changes and the temperature cools. As we crept up on the total eclipse the light was dim, but at that moment of totality the light quickly shifted to dark dusk with a halo of light on the horizon. As we watched with our glasses on the last little crest of sun was covered and then darkness. We took our glasses off and were astounded at the beauty of the black circle of the moon and the corona glowing so stunningly. There really are no words to describe the image you see, but we were all in awe hooting and hollering in amazement. It was hard to take your eyes off the corona and yet the place in which we were standing was cooler and darker than expected and you wanted to take that in as well. It was truly a life altering moment when you realize how small you are in the universe and how large and vast space beyond us is. The eclipse was there for everyone across the U.S. to witness and be awed by with the path of totality for the total eclipse. It was something other worldly for all to see and made me very grateful for all the science and scientists who work so hard to unfold so many of the mysteries of the universe.

Several friends have asked if the eclipse experience will impact my painting. At this point I am not sure, but I do know that the beauty and intrigue of nature has certainly been a big inspiration for me and the work I do.


Totality in Ringgold, Nebraska Aug. 21, 2017 photo by Aubrey Simmonsen

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Totality and the corona, photo by Peter Fordyce


Ellie made the journey to Ringgold, Nebraska! photo by Aubrey Simmonsen





Summer of Love





Jan Fordyce, Expanding, 36x48 oil on canvas, $3800.jpg

My painting," Expanding" is on display at the Greenwood Village Town Hall Exhibit, The Art of the "Lake of Fire"



I recently visited the “Summer of Love” exhibit at the De Young Museum of Art in San Francisco with Peter, Kristin and Matt. It was a step back in time to the to the era of hippies, rock and roll, anti-war movement and a revolution of thought brought by a younger generation rejecting the culture of the times. The exhibit showcased the art, music and fashion of the era with collections of poster art and photographs. There was even a room with bean bag chairs and a psychedelic light show with rock and roll music to bring the experience of the times alive. The summer of love was 1967 now 50 years ago! Some of the same issues seem to be as relevant now as they were back then. As you entered the exhibit there are 3 large photographs with pertinent quotes (see below). My favorite was: “We must move quickly to counter those public and private actions which result in further pollution of our environment” by Ronald Regan Governor of California 1969. How times change but in some instances stay the same!

Closer to home my work can now be seen at Mirada Fine Arts, a wonderful award winning gallery situated in the mountains 25 minutes from Denver in Indian Hills. Learn more at

The painting “Expanding” is part of the Art of “Lake of Fire” an exhibition of artists sponsored by the Greenwood Village Cultural Arts and “Village Read” in connection with the book, “Lake of Fire”. The book is about woodland fires in Colorado by author Mark Stevens. Artists were asked for work the portrays the theme of the book. Interestingly I spent my college summers as a wildland firefighter in Yosemite National Park so the topic resonated with me! 

Hope you are all having a fantastic summer of love and fun!


Exhibition at the De Young Museum San Francisco 


Enjoying the bean bag chairs.


Quote by Willie Brown 1967


Poster Art


Outside the exhibition with quotes from the summer of love.


Quote by Ronald Regan 1967


Fashion for the Summer of Love 1967.


A walk to Inspiration Point overlooking the bay in S. F.


Quote by Marlene Dixon 1969


Studio Assistant Ellie enjoying a cool swim at Silver Dollar Lake.



New Painting from the studio!
©2017 Jan Fordyce, Outward Ripple, 40x60 oil on canvas

New Painting from the studio!

©2017 Jan Fordyce, Subdued Ripple, 36x60 oil on canvas

For more work visit my website at:

Internet Connection Stories

It is amazing how just having a website can introduce you to some fascinating people. Recently I was contacted by three people from different places around the world doing very different things.

A couple of months ago I received an email from a French photographer who is also fascinated with water. He has a line of photographs of water called aquosites and emailed to share a couple with me which were astonishing very much like my water paintings. Who knew there would be such an interesting connection pursuing the same subject but in a different media? I then looked at his website and was further amazed at how his photographs were so similar to my art. Seems we have a similar interest and eye to translate the subject of water.

I was also contacted recently by a poet here in Colorado who saw my Colorado River paintings online and asked if she could use one to inspire a poem and project at the Telluride Literary Festival as she read her poem. I thought that was a brilliant idea. Who knew a painting could inspire a poet?

The last contact really took me by surprise. I was contacted by a PhD student in astronomy from the University of Amsterdam. He had found one of my paintings by searching “circular waves simulations” on Google. It turns out he wanted to use a water ripple painting for the cover of his thesis titled ” Mass Accretion Rate Fluctuations in Black Hole X-ray Binaries.”  I mentioned to him I had always thought there was a strong relationship between the arts and science and this is what he wrote back:

 “About the link between science and arts (or creative processes in general), black holes were predicted (or “pictured”, if you want) before their discovery. The idea of black hole sounded bizarre even for Einstein, but in the 60’s astronomers observed the first one in the Cygnus constellation. A small story about how imagination goes beyond reality (sometimes).”

“From your blog I guess you are in love with reflection mechanisms. You may be interested about how a black hole changes space time very close to it. It sounds complicated, but close to the black hole light rays are curved, deviated, ‘trapped’ into rings, creating all kind of illusions (standing on a black hole surface you would see your neck in from of you!).  A challenge for every mind (scientific and artistic).”

Pretty interesting how people can find one’s work online and then are motivated enough to contact me and share their stories of finding inspiration in a painting. Art via the internet can truly connect people from all over the world.

Art Exhibition at the Arvada Center

I recently visited the opening to the new exhibition at the Arvada Center called "PaperWorks", in the main gallery. It is a group show of 20 artists who use paper as their artistic medium. The work ranged from cast paper to cut paper and folded paper to handmade paper. I was amazed at the imagination and creativity conveyed in the artist's work. Below are a couple of examples of amazing work.

Also at the center is an exhibition in the Theater Gallery of "Paper on Paper: the Art of Chine-Colle", which encompasses printmakers using the technique of chine-colle in various ways.

In the Upper gallery there is an exhbit of Stan Meyer's work called "Poetic Presence", which included large flat woven artworks out of roofing felt paper.

The Exhibition runs from June 1- Aug. 20, 2017. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri. 9-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 1-5.
The Arvada Center for the Arts is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Arvada, Co. 80003

Copyright ©2017 Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.



Tentative Ripple 36x60 oil on canvas

New Painting from the studio!
©2017 Jan Fordyce, Fleeting Moment, 36x60 oil on canvas

©2017 Jan Fordyce, Shifting Swirl, 40x60 oil on canvas

Above are recent paintings inspired by water's movement and reflected shapes. As spring has finally appeared I look forward to spending time by water as it continually inspires my work and in the studio doing what I love.

A Visit to the Denver Art Museum

   Mark Bradford,  Realness , mixed media

 Mark Bradford, Realness, mixed media

  Mark Bradford , The Edge of Abstraction,  mixed media

Mark Bradford, The Edge of Abstraction, mixed media

I had a  recent visit to the Denver Art Museum and was throughly inspired by the show, Shade: Clifford Still and Mark Bradford. Both painters are abstract expresionists, although Clifford Still worked in the 1930's -1970's until his death in 1980. Mark Bradford is a current contemporary artist whose work creates a dialogue with that of Still. Clifford Still worked primarily in black, and so in response to his work Mark Bradford works in black in most of these paintings. Clifford Still used paint while Mark Bradford used paper and mixed media often using a sander as a tool to uncover and expose texture and shapes. The paintings are mesmerizing to look at. It is an exceptional show featuring two great artists. Above are a couple of my favorite pieces from Mark Bradford. 

The exhibition Shade, is at the Denver Art Museum from April 9th-July 16th with the companion show nearby at the Clifford Still Museum.

Denver Art Museum address: 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. Denver, Co.
Clifford Still Museum address: 1250 Bannock St. Denver, Co.

Last but not least, Studio Assistant Ellie enjoying the spring weather and a ball toss! Photo by Peter Fordyce

Copyright © 2017Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.



New Work from the Studio



New Painting from the studio!

© 2017 Jan Fordyce, Colliding Ripple 40x60 oil and resin on canvas

This painting was inspired by a trip along the banks of the Colorado River near Moab, Ut. The painting reflects the sky and land colliding together in a swirling ripple.

New painting from the studio!

©2017 Jan Fordyce, Uncovered Discord, 36x60 oil and resin on canvas

This painting was inspired by a trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and the hot springs. It is a layered piece that took many different paths along the way to completion.

©2016 Jan Fordyce, Shifting Fragments, 36x60 oil and resin on canvas
Just sold by Nine dot Arts to a company in Seattle, Wa. Thank you! 

This painting is inspired by fragments of abstract reflections on water. The water in constant movement takes these reflections and breaks them into fragments that are constantly shifting and changing.

New Work from the Studio!

I have been spending quite a bit of time in the studio painting and loving the time spent there.  I have been inspired by recent trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, the banks of the Colorado River, to visits to the MOMA in San Francisco and the DAM in Denver, and to the pond just a short walk from my house. Each painting works to open new ideas for the next and a momentum of ideas occurs with the need to express and experiment with those ideas. Sometimes it is hard to narrow down which idea to work on next. Of course, there are always a few paintings that in my mind did not quite work as expected. Luckily, as an oil painter I can paint over those less than satisfying paintings. In doing so it allows for a freedom of knowing that the first painting did not work out so the painting that covers it is not so precious. I can experiment and just see what occurs which is so vital to the creative process. The ability to focus on my painting has created a momentum that is hard to have when painting was second or third in my list of priorities. It is such a gift and treat to have the time to devote to my work and see it grow and thrive. Studio time is something I am very grateful for and I cherish the time to work in the studio.

To see more of my work visit my website at:

Studio Assistant Ellie enjoying the snow!

Copyright © 2017 Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.



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Jan Fordyce Contemporary Paintings · 7475 S. Jackson Ct. · Centennial, Co 80122 · USA

Save the Arts



MARCH 2017


Just Sold! ©Jan Fordyce, Complexity, 30x40 oil on canvas


New Painting from the studio!
©2017 Jan Fordyce, Shifting Swirl, 40x60 oil on canvas

Saving the Arts for Everyone

I have been involved in the arts from a very young age. I had the opportunity to take art classes and have people around me that supported my passion of making art and seeing art in museums. In many ways I was very lucky. As an art teacher/professor, I have seen many students work hard in the arts and see the importance of art in their communities as a place to view the arts and be involved in the arts. From music to theater, dance, film, literary arts and the visual arts our humanity is enriched. As we look at art history or just history in general, we learn about the past and other cultures from the art that is and was created. 

It saddened me when I learned that the National Endowment for the Arts was going to be eliminated. The NEA was founded in 1965 and has actively provided grants to arts organizations in all 50 states. It supports performances, exhibitions, healing arts and arts education programs as well as festivals and artist residencies. 

The NEA designates that a portion of their funds to every state with regional partnership grants to be allocated to serving underserved communities. For every $1 in grant money, a matching public or private fund can boost that $1 to up to $9, in effect magnifying the impact of the grant.

From the NEA website:( )

“A recent examination of NEA direct grants showed that the majority go to small and medium sized organizations, which tend to support projects that benefit audiences that otherwise might not have access to arts programming.”

“A significant percentage of grants go to those who have fewer opportunities to participate in the arts.”

Communities and artists across the country large and small benefit from all of these NEA grants

If you appreciate the arts whether, music concerts, theater, film, going to the art museum or art center or just enjoy the arts period, please join me in letting your voice be heard by calling, emailing or sending a note to your congress person or senator. 

The arts are so important for our humanity.

Around Town

Must see at the Denver Museum of Art, the exhibition Mi Tierra. This exhibit features site specific installations by 13 Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West. On view through Oct. 22, 2017. Hours: 10-5 Mon.-Sat. 10-8 Friday. Located at 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy Denver, Co.

Recent trip to Tucson

A recent trip to Tucson was delightful! We hiked in Sabino Canyon, Mt. biked in the foothills, played tennis, ate amazing food and throughly enjoyed spending time with great friends. Such a great getaway in the middle of winter!

Beautiful Sabino Canyon hike.

Tucson Botanic Gardens!

 Water flowing down the canyon!

Cactus and shadows.

Ellie the studio assistant in deep thought.

Copyright © 2017 Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.





A Visit to S.F. MOMA






©2016 Jan Fordyce, Lyrical 2, 36x72 oil on canvas
Commissioned by art consultants, Nine dot Arts for 1st Bank! Just completed! Thank you!

See more paintings at

This Thanksgiving we had the pleasure of joining our son Matt and his wife Kristin for a fantastic getaway in their hometown of San Francisco. I grew up in the Bay Area so it is a little like going home with memories of my childhood each time I visit S.F. The weather, except for one rainy day was clear and beautiful. They entertained us with amazing restaurants, a yoga workout, walks and sightseeing around town and special times to just sit and chat. On the one rainy day we visited one of my favorite places, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It has recently reopened after a major renovation and expansion. I looked online and could see there were quite a few shows going on, but had no idea of the depth of the collection of modern art. One of my favorite painters, Gerhard Richter was featured on the 6th floor along with other favorites. His early work is photo realistic and his later work is abstract with layers and layers of paint scraped with a huge squeegee to reveal mesmerizing colors and shapes. Many of his abstract works are large and colorful with a sense of movement and depth through his process of painting. It was such a treat to see his work in person along with many other favorite artists. We each came away with our own shared experiences exploring the museum. Below are few of my favorite artists and artworks.

See a vimeo video on Gerhard Richter


Painting by Gerhard Richter

Painting by Gerhard Richter

Painting by Chuck Close

Matt, Kristin and Peter at the Bruce Conner Exhibit

Matt and Kristin after the SFMOMA
We had such a great visit!
Thank you!

Copyright © 2016 Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.


Time to Create



New Painting from the studio!
©2016 Jan Fordyce, Hot Water Flow, 36x48 oil on canvas.

This painting was inspired by my recent trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. At the start of our trip there were quite a few hot springs that were great to soak in after a day on the river.

New Painting from the studio!
©2016 Jan Fordyce, Mosaic, 36x60 oil on canvas

This painting was also inspired by the trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and the hot springs. The painting is a close-up view of the hot water creating a mosaic pattern from the surface below and the sunlight above.

Time to Create

Like any creative endeavor, the creative process can be finicky and elusive at times. Some paintings seem to flow out easily and relatively quickly and others put up a fight. I find that when I am trying something new or different the process is slowed down and uncertain. I also find that the longer it takes to create a painting, the focus can change along the way. I might start out with one outcome in mind and then that changes as time goes on and the process continues. Sometimes the indecision makes it harder to figure out what direction to go in and sometimes the idea is harder to execute than thought. A painting may take you in a direction you thought you were not going, and I often find it is just best to be taken on that journey. For better or worse, I find that I have a hard time giving up on a painting. I feel the need to “figure it out” as a problem to be solved. Sometimes it may be wise to let go and move on to another painting. The case in point are two paintings just completed. One painting, Mosaic took many months to complete and in the meantime, Hot Water Flow was started to distract me from the first and possibly come up with some answers as I was painting. Sometimes I am asked how long it takes to complete a painting? It is a hard question to answer as you can see each painting has its own timeline, and each painting that has come before plays into the next painting. The creative process is not necessarily a linear journey, and at times one can get lost, but each painting reflects a process of work, time, patience and focus.

Just Sold!
©2015 Jan Fordyce, Spin, 36x36 oil on canvas.


Around Town

A wonderful exhibition:" Expanding the Dialogue Part Two" is on display until November 12th at Space Gallery Denver. The exhibit features 3 abstract painters: Pat Aaron, Monroe Hodder and Haze Diedrich. Here are a couple of amazing paintings by Pat Aaron inspired by her residency to Iceland!
Space Gallery is located at 400 Santa Fe Drive in Denver.

Hours are: Wed.-Fri. 11-5, Sat. 10-3


Ellie the studio assistant and another water lover on a hike last summer.

Travels and the Art Experience



©2016 Circular Force, 40"x60" oil on
canvas, Jan Fordyce

Two new painting are in the works! Look for them in the next newsletter!

Travels and the Art Experience

I recently came home from a wonderful trip with my husband, Peter to the historic, art filled, beautiful country of Italy. The trip was filled with new places to experience, food and wine to enjoy and new sites to see. I realized after coming home what an art filled experience the trip was. Of course being an artist some of the experience was sought out, such as seeing The Last Supper in Milan. But, art was apparent in just about every endeavor we encountered. We took a cooking class and learned some of the art of cooking and presentation that is such a part of Italy. They use the best ingredients they can find and cook with care, tradition and in one class with a contemporary flare. 

In our travels, Peter and I came upon a Exhibition of M.C. Esher at a Museum in Milan. He spent quite a bit of time in Italy which influenced his art. The exhibit encompassed many of his famous and recognizable pieces as well as a sense of progression and growth in his work.

In Turin, we went to the Egyptian Museum or Museo Egizio. It contains one of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt. The museum is huge and takes you through the history of early Egyptian antiquities. One of my favorite was a long papyrus scroll the length of a long wall. It amazed me that, as a paper object it has survived so many years.

The architecture in each city and town was exquisite. The buildings in Turin were elegant with a French influence. The churches in all of the towns and cities were each different with some offering a simple facade and others large and ornate. The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi completed in the 1200’s is a marvel of artwork inside the upper and lower church. And of course the Arch of Constantine in the Forum in Rome is an amazing example of Roman architecture. 

We rode bikes through the countryside of Umbria, which was exquisite with small medieval towns and lots of vineyards and olive orchards. Each scene was like a lovely painting just waiting to step into and experience. Each turn in the road offered up the artistic landscape of Italy. 

I think travel offers an artist a peak into the artistic beauty of other countries and cultures. It stirs the creative juices and awakens new possibilities and ideas as it broadens ones personal growth and awareness of the world. I look forward to transferring my new ideas to canvas. We loved our artistic Italian holiday.

From the M.C. Esher exhibition in Milan. An interactive camera that makes the viewer part of the art!

From the Egyptian Museum in Turin.

The Arch of Constantine at the Forum in Rome. 

Cappelacci from our cooking class in Bevanga. We actually made and cooked this dish and then had it for dinner!

The countryside in Umbria and the town of Trevi.

Outside the Palazzo Reale in Milan.

All photos taken by Peter Fordyce.

Copyright © *2016 Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.





Rafting Waters



JULY 2016

New painting from the studio!
©2016 Jan Fordyce, Curvilinear Forms, 40"x60" oil on canvas

Rafting the Waters of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

I had the amazing opportunity to go on a rafting trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. It is a pristine section of wild and scenic water where the only way in is on a raft or flying in on a small plane. 

The trip was special in many ways. It was a constant source of inspiration looking at the cool river waters from the raft, and from the shores after a day in the boat. The water is so clear you can see the rocks below as and you float by. The upper section held hot springs to soak in, while the lower section had magnificent falls. The water changed in the shadows and in the sun light, and especially in the rapids where the water roared by and over rocks that bounced us in the air and splashed us with cold clear water. Each day the scenery changed as we traveled 100 miles over six days. The upper section was pine forests some of it burned in earlier fires while the lower section became rugged rocky canyon and sage. Each day held a new vision around each bend in the river.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is known for its white water rafting and kayaking and it did not disappoint. Thanks to our amazing and very skilled guides we all hooted and hollered as we went down the rapids smiling and impressed with their skill in maneuvering the rafts. We were blessed with perfect weather and a group of people from all over the U.S. many of whom we did not know but who all became friends by the end of a trip. The magic of the river, the guides and all the new friends and experiences we had made for a trip of a lifetime and inspiration for many paintings to come. I can now say the Middle Fork of the Salmon is my new muse for work ahead.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce

The water's edge of the river winding through the canyon.

Looking down at the river. The water is so clear you can see the rocks below. Great inspiration for future paintings.

 Photo by Teresa Brooks

Photo by Teresa Brooks

Kayaking in the ducky.

 Photo by Peter Fordyce

Photo by Peter Fordyce


Looking down at the Middle Fork near the end of the trip.

Around Town

At the Denver Art Museum a must see exhibit: Women of Abstract Expressionism. An inspiring and insightful exhibit of Women Abstract Artists from both the east and west coasts. The first Women abstract exhibit to date! Big, bold and wonderful paintings from some of the best women abstract artists during the height of the movement in the 50's and 60's with names such as Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell.
The exhibit runs until Sept. 25th.

Around Town
All Colorado Show at the Curtis Arts and Humanities Center is still showing until July 29th. Hope you can stop by and see my painting, Surface Patterns
2349 East Orchard Rd. Greenwood Village, Co. 80121

© 2016 Jan Fordyce, Surface Patterns, 36"x48" oil on canvas




Copyright © 2016 Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.


A Walk by the Pond


A Walk by the Pond

June 2016


©2016 Jan Fordyce, Broken Ripple, 36x48 oil and resin on canvas

©2016 Jan Fordyce, Surface Patterns, 36x48 oil and resin on canvas

This painting was juried into the 33rd Annual All Colorado Show! Many thanks to the juror! The exhibition will be on display from June 11th through July 29th at the Curis Arts and Humanities Center, 2349 E. Orchard Rd. Greenwood Village, Co. 80121. Hours are: Mon.-Fri. 8:30-4:30.

The opening is: June 11th 5:00-7:30. I hope you can come and see all of the wonderful work from Colorado artists.

A Walk by the Pond

Water is the muse for my paintings. Although many of my paintings have been inspired by the Colorado River I have also been inspired by a pond. The pond is less than a mile from my house on the Highline Canal Trail. It is a place I walk my dog Ellie, ride my bike and observe the water and the changing seasons reflected in the water. The pond has no name, but is home to ducks and geese who visit it during migration. The pond is also home to coyotes and foxes that roam around the area. On a recent walk I observed some baby ducks being escorted by their mom as she led them through wonderful spring green colors of the trees and plants around the pond. The pond is a place of solitude, and also a place constantly changing as the seasons and weather transforms the landscape. As I walk around the pond inspiration is everywhere especially in the water. Below are some images from my walk by the pond.



Ducks, baby geese and the sights of the pond on my walk by the pond.


Studio Assistant Ellie enjoying the spring green grass and hoping to play ball.





New Sites and Inspiration


New Sites and Inspiration

MAY 2016



©2015 Jan Fordyce, Surface Layers, 40x60 oil on canvas
Sold! This painting just found a new home at the CBI Crime Lab in Arvada, Co.

©2016 Jan Fordyce, Surface Patterns, 36x48, oil on canvas, $3800
New from the studio.

©2016 Jan Fordyce, Circular Force, 40x60, oil on canvas, $4200
New from the studio.


New Sites and Inspiration 

Over the years, artists have journeyed to different locations for inspiration for their work. Think of the Impressionists traveling to the south of France for the color and light, and Georgia O’Keefe traveling to New Mexico for the southwestern light and landscape.

Recently, I was able to make two short trips to inspire my work and experience a change in landscape and atmosphere. I made a quick trip to Moab, Utah to ride mountain bikes, take in the red rock beauty, and enjoy the Colorado River winding its way through the desert landscape. 

A trip to the desert was a delight with all the cactus in bloom—with colors from yellows to oranges to brilliant reds! The desert warmth and sun warmed my soul and relaxed and slowed down my thoughts as I took in the beauty. I was able to view wonderful artwork and eat delectable southwestern food with good friends.

Even though the trips were short, the getaways were inspiration into different sites and character of land and brought a quick break and inspiration to my work. Now back to painting!


The Colorado River winding it's way through the red rocks towards Moab, Ut. This river has been a big source of inspiration and imagery for my paintings. It is always a treat to see it's magnificent beauty.

Ellie takes us for a hike. She also takes a swim!

Brilliant cactus colors in bloom! Got to love those bright colors!

Art Around Town

Just visited Space Gallery in Denver and saw a wonderful exhibit called, reMARKable. One of the featured artists is a friend Sangeeta Reddy, who creates beautiful abstract pieces. Her work includes mixed media collage and monotype prints with layers of paint added to make each piece the subtle and engaging.
The show runs until May 14th at Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Dr. Denver, Co. Hours are: Wed.-Fri. 11-5, Sat. 11-3.

Copyright © 2016 Jan Fordyce , All rights reserved.


Art in our Lives



MARCH 2016


©Jan Fordyce 2016, Fragment Flow, 36x60 oil on canvas

This is the painting from the last newsletter which showed the steps in progress. Completion!

Art in Our Lives

As an artist I love to create art. It is a lifelong pursuit, a passion and a need to express myself and ideas. Once I have created the art the next step is getting it out in the world. I love to see it go into a friends home where I can visit and see it again, but it is also an honor to see it going into a place of business, either corporate or a non-profit, a hotel or a hospital. I love the fact that all of these places think that original art is important to place in their environments. Whether it is for a pleasing designed interior, or for their employees to take pleasure from, or the people that come into the environment all are affected by the art. It amazes me how much art can impact our lives. The art we look at can be calming, beautiful, inspiring, humorous, intriguing, monumental, complicated, adventurous, almost any descriptor one could come up with. Because it is a visual art two different people could come up with very different words or opinions on how the art could affect them very differently. 

Of course the visual arts share this impact with all of the other art forms: literary, music, performing arts, culinary arts, etc. As humans we can derive so much from all of these art forms. In a world that can seem so crazy art is something that one can always find solace in. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the arts and a tiny voice in the world of art.

©2015 Jan Fordyce, Surface Disruption, 40x60 oil on canvas
Installation at TD Ameritrade, Houston, Texas. 


©2014 Jan Fordyce, Lyrical Puddle, original painting 24x48 oil on canvas, enlarged as a giclee print to fit in the Westin Hotel in Westminster, Co.


©2016 Jan Fordyce, Spiral Ripple, 40x60 oil on canvas, on exhibit at the Arvada Art Center, Arvada, Co.



©2013 Jan Fordyce, A Ripple in Time #1, 36x48 oil on canvas purchase by St. Joseph Hospital Denver, Co.


©2013 Jan Fordyce, Momentary Ripple, 24x48 oil on canvas, purchased by Life Long Organ Donation, a non-profit in San Diego, Ca.

It's almost over! The Art of the State 2016 Exhibition at the Arvada Center ends March 27th! A big thanks to all of you who made it up to see the exhibition, if not there is still time. Thanks if you voted for my painting for the Peoples Choice award. The next Art of the State is in 2019!




Copyright © 2016 Jan Fordyce




The Process of Painting





©2015 Jan Fordyce, Shifting Fragments, 36x60, oil on canvas

©2015 Jan Fordyce, Circular Force, 40x60 oil on canvas


As I work on the painting process I like to document the steps I take along the way. Below are some steps in a painting I am currently working on. The painting is inspired by a close-up view of water in motion creating swirls and patterns that are somewhat complicated. I was intrigued by the movement creating the patterns in an intricatedesign. As I started the painting I focused on laying out the dark overall pattern that would hold the composition together. I then started adding in the color and glazing color on top of color to build up the transparent water like quality. As you can see, the process is pretty intricate and complicated, but at the same time very mesmerizing to paint. I love getting lost in the process of painting.

STEP 1: On the left is the first step of this painting, laying in the dark values to see the overall design.

STEP 2: On the right some color is being added to the empty white spaces.

STEP 3: On the left a building up of color working from the top of the canvas down and across from right to left as the painting comes to life.

STEP 4: On the right a continuation of color and definition help the painting progress
STEPS TO GO: This painting is not  yet finished. More work is needed in many areas. Usually I spend time observing and making subtle changes for several weeks until the vision for the piece seems to be complete.
I will feature the finished painting in next month's newsletter so stay tuned!

©2015 Jan Fordyce, Spiral Ripple, 40x60, oil on canvas

Around Town
The opening of the Art of the State at the Arvada Center was a huge success! A big thanks to all who were able to come. It was great to see your smiling faces.
At times there was standing room only as the large Arts Center filled with lovers of art. 
The show will be up until March 27th. For the first three week of the show I was the in the lead for the Peoples Choice Award. If you plan to visit the show I would love to have your vote!
Arvada Center for the Arts is located at: 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Arvada, Co. 80003
Hours are: M-F 9-6, Sat. 10-5, Sun. 1-5


Ellie, the Studio Assistant critiquing a painting. What do you think she is thinking?

Copyright © 2016 Jan Fordyce, All rights reserved.

Art of the State 2016


A Juried Exhibition of Colorado


© 2015 Jan Fordyce, Spiral Ripple, 40x60, oil on canvas, juried into the exhibition!

Please join me at the opening reception for, ART OF THE STATE 2016, A JURIED EXHIBITION OF COLORADO at the Arvada Center for the Arts on January 21st from 6:00-9:00.

The show runs from January 21st- March 27th 2016
Hours are: M-F 9-6, Sat. 10-5, Sun. 1-5

The Arvada Center for the Arts is located at:
6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Arvada, Co. 80003






Abstract Realism


Abstract Realism

September 2015

©2014 Jan Fordyce, Fragments, 36x48 oil on canvas, $3800


Abstract Realism

A friend recently helped me to come up with the perfect description of my work. She said it was abstract realism. What is that? Well, the abstraction relates to the close-up imagery of water, removing the context of the surrounding environment, and focusing on the patterns, reflections, and movement of water. The realism relates to the identification of water. You see the ripples and patterns that you know as water, so you relate to water as a real subject. What do you see in my work? Let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts.


Photos of Water

My work starts with a photo reference. It is very hard to paint water from life as it is constantly moving and I am interested in capturing a moment in time. I (or a friend) toss a rock into the water to create a ripple. I then quickly take photos of the ripple as it moves from the center and flows outward. The photo is then cropped as a close-up to provide the desired

composition. Inevitably, the finished work departs from the photo through the process of painting.

A ripple created and photographed for a painting reference.

A close up of water, cropped to focus on the ripple patterns. 


I am honored to have the painting, Encompassing Ripple, selected for the 2015 Lone Tree Art Expo. The show runs from October 3rd to November 8th with the opening on October 3rd, 3:00-5:00. Lone Tree Arts Center is located on 10075 Commons St. Lone Tree, Co. 80124. Hours are: 10-4 Monday-Friday. Please come by and see the show!

©2015 Jan Fordyce, Encompassing Ripple, 36x48, oil on canvas, $3800

Layers of Color, the Art of Glazing

Layers of Color, The Art of Glazing
November 2015

©2015 Jan Fordyce, Spiral Ripple, 40x60, oil on canvas  

This painting was recently juried into the, ART OF THE STATE, show at the Arvada Art Center, Arvada, Co. Show runs from January-March 2016.

©2015 Jan Fordyce, Encompassing Ripple, 36x48, oil on canvas, SOLD
This painting was recently sold to a lovely family in the Denver area. I am thrilled they are so happy with the painting in their home!

Layers of Color, The Art of Glazing

As you can probably guess I am in love with color. Color is an important part of my work. Both of the paintings shown above are enhanced with layering color- a process known as glazing. Glazing is a centuries old technique of layering on thin layers of transparent color to build up the color and create a luminescent feel to the painting. Traditionally glazing was done over an underpainting in black and white of the subject. The layers were built up using the the lightest colors first, in paints that were by nature transparent, and then mixed with a medium to thin out the paint. For instance a transparent yellow might be layered on first and left to dry. A transparent layer of blue might be layered over next to create a greenish color. With each layer of transparent color the overall color changes and becomes richer. It is like layers of colored glass- an inner glow is created in the painting. 

This technique comes in handy in painting water. I am trying to achieve a feeling of transparency and glow in the paintings. Instead of starting with a black and white underpainting, I may layer variations of blues or greens on top of each other to create a richness of depth and luminosity. 

Glazing is also useful in subtly changing a color by applying a thin transparent color on top of an existing color. The color can be cooled down, warmed up,  or made more intense with saturated color depending on the color that is glazed. Glazing can help unify the overall color scheme of a painting or create more complex color.

Artistsare always looking at what has been done in the past. We look for new ways to use old techniques and experiment with them in new ways. Glazing is a centuries old technique that has many contemporary applications in a mash up of old and new

Studio Assistant, Ellie in front of a recently glazed painting.