An artist’s state of mind is accessible to all, according to Ogden-based artist Jane Font. “You just have to be willing to put aside your attachment to an outcome and enjoy the process of learning and doing,” she said. “I really believe that’s all it takes.”
Font always felt a strong pull toward the arts but, like many, felt she didn’t have a “creative bone in her body.” It wasn’t until well into adulthood, after opening Pandemonium Art Gallery on 25th Street in 2013, that she picked up a paintbrush. Now, she’s a full-time artist and host of the hit YouTube channel “Painting with Jane” ... with her own line of paintbrushes.
“I found myself with some extra time on my hands during business hours and lots of inspiration on the walls,” Font said. And she made a decision to just paint without worrying about the end result.
“I think that’s the biggest hurdle for artists just starting out. We’re so attached to the idea of creating something beautiful and good that we overlook the things that we need to learn and the enjoyment there is in the process itself,” she said.
Pandemonium Art Gallery was a popular showcase for underrepresented local artists of the often strange and experimental, and then teaching ultimately led Font into a different direction.
“To me, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing the light go on for someone and the pride in their face when they accomplish something they didn’t think possible,” Font said.
According to “Painting with Jane,” talent isn’t necessary. “Being an artist is just a state of mind, and I do believe that every person has that ability.” Helping others to learn new things is where she finds her joy. “Anyone can learn to paint, and anyone can learn to tap into and grow their creativity,” Font said.
Font’s creative work is sometimes described as dark, spooky or sad. Font says her paintings, focused on tonalism style lately, are about expressing a mood, a feeling or a memory. “I think looking at a painting, as pretentious as this might sound, is a little like looking into a mirror emotionally,” she said. “The interpretations each person has says something about them, in the same way that my motivation for each painting says something about me.”
Over the past eight years, Font helped foster a citywide arts revival through a variety of projects and initiatives. Working with the team that spearheaded the changes to the Ogden Farmers Market, serving on the Ogden Arts Advisory Committee and being part of The Monarch are some of her favorites.
“It’s been a really exciting time to be a part of the arts community in Ogden,” Font said. Because the art scene is so young and not yet fully formed, she sees opportunities for artists who are just starting out to jump in and make a difference in the community.
“For an artist, it can be really hard to enter a community with an established art scene and get a foothold because there’s competition for community art projects, a saturation of galleries, studios, etc.,” she said. “The artists working in the community right now are laying the groundwork for everything that comes next.”
Font’s original works and custom paint brushes are available for purchase both in her studio at The Monarch and from her website at www.paintingwithjane.com. She plans to get back to in-person classes as soon as possible, offering a combination of one-on-one and group settings. Until then, aspiring painters can grab a brush and enjoy the process of “Painting with Jane” on YouTube.