Jan Butler was born in Geneva, Nebraska and currently lives on the Little Arkansas River in north Wichita, Kansas. Years ago, classes in decorative painting stimulated a keen interest in art. She graduated from Wichita State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio arts with a minor in art history.
Jan had the privilege of working with a team of artists in 2005 during the renovation of historic St. Anthony’s church in Wichita doing stenciling, gilding and painting faux marble. She teaches watercolor and rice paper batik classes and creates handmade boxes in a studio she shares with artist husband, James Butler. She has been represented by Gallery XII since 2011.
Jan has undertaken several series of paintings. The first and ongoing series, Portals and Passageways, offers a narrative about the windows and entries of a building, its uses, and the people who occupy it. A doorway is a metaphor for safety and security; a passageway is symbolic of transition in life. Human habitation and/or abandonment may be present in the architecture. Both the voyeuristic portal and the passageway are ambiguous areas and should instill a sense of curiosity in the viewer.
Her second ongoing series of paintings is titled Destinations. "It offers a view of places I've visited in the past and I'm challenged to infuse the work with the unique flavor and architecture of each area. Varying atmospheric conditions of each locale affect the light and hues in the paintings."
The artist also chooses to include vibrant floral paintings splashed with color and still life paintings in her repertoire of work These series of paintings are rendered in either oil, watercolor and a batik process using wax, ink, watercolor on rice paper.
"(Her) ongoing series, Portals and Passageways, offers a narrative about the windows and entries of a building, its uses, and the people who occupy it. A doorway is a metaphor for safety and security; a passageway is symbolic of transition in life."