Jan Cantle

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I am 'The Accidental Artist',  61, studying art in Wales, disabled and a granny.  A complex mixture which has led to an eclectic style.

The Accidental Artist title because if my rheumatologist had not suggested I went to classes I would never have found the art class at the end ot my road.  I was 55 then. Studying art, because I never did at school, and my previous education had never suggested it. Disability is part of me, but is not necessarily part of my art except in how it makes it difficult.  I have mobility problems, only one eye, and a cataract in that. An eclectic style because I am a bit like a child in a sweet shop - I love trying new things, and am happy working in print, 3D, acrylic, pastel, ink, beads, although only competent in watercolour.  Granny to 9 at the last count - I get to share my passion a lot with interested children. 

Feb 27th It is half term and I have missed most of the life drawing classes. Trying to catch up I have used my grandchildren as models, as well as trying to draw people from the tv.  Whilst doing this, I noticed a sloth in a tv advert. Now, I realise that this is what all my life drawings resemble the most. I have resolved to give up atempts to draw people and stick to animals where I am far more succesful.

April 15th  I have finally been told I can have the cataract surgery within a few months.  At the momeht I have 50 % vision in the real eye.  Colour is becoming a blur, and eating is an adventure.Today I painted a little owl in pastels - much better than my lady in a rtoom!


I have finished all the work I need for college, so for the rest ot the time I am going to paint a large canvas of Kidwelly Castle at night, and also make a book with my own illustrations of the Just So stories.  



I was contemplating my Kidwelly canvas when the tutor came along and said, "Don't you dare fiddle with that painting! I really like it and want it in the exhibition." So, I felt smug and left it hanging on the wall to dry.  I must remember to take my camera in next week so I can show it on here. This has lead to a change of mecdium as I am now working on a set of pastel illustrations to make into a book for the Just So Storues by rudyard Kipling.

17/5  I got the Kidwelly Castle painting into my gallery, along with 3 flower paintings, They are different treatments of the same still life.  I am already missing college as we are finishing things up, awaiting final assessments and then the end of course exhibition. I hope you will all come.

What next?

I am going to be doing an MA in Art History with the Open University.  It will be odd to be in the academic side of art, but I will still be creating artworks and craft items. 


What a day to be stuck inside searching for funding - Bank Holiday Monday and it is currently sunny outside.  In between times I am making a scale model of my exhibition space to work out where to put what.



The pictures in my end of course exhibition,


Well, I have finished my acess qualification - does that move me from artist in training to artist? Or are you always learning ? I would be interested in your input.


Well, I have been busily reading the set text for the OU Art History Masters, and apparently images have to be considered using the artists'gender, sexuality, social and cultural background and the politics of where they are creating.

When I paint a picture I do it because the topic appeals, and my disability is irrelevant, so is my gender,etc..... What about you?

5/8 Yesterday I fulfilled a long held ambition and got to see the Welsh National Eisteddfod.  I do not find it easy to walk for long, so only managed to go round four or five of the 20 aartists chosen this year. What an amazing experience it was too.  I had an audio describer all to myself. As we went round one of the sponsors of a prize was walking round, explaining who was onhis short list and why - and I got a private translation service.  The range of works was huge - photography, ceramics, architecture, video and traditional painting as well as items that just did not fit any category.  My favourite was a huge canvas of a seascape - which was made up of hundreds of different photos of sea pixellated and manipulated onto the canvas,  from a distance it looked so real but close up you could see the individual squares.  There were bits of sculpture all over the Maes as well. My favourite was a sort of tap that hung in free air and was running with water although not apparently connected to anything.  I wish I could go again before it leaves my home town of Llanelli.  As the access was along the coastal path I have several new paintings churning in my mind.


What a few weeks we have had,  My husband became very disabled very suddenly, had a stroke and turned back into himself again.  I have been able to paint this last week in between hospital visits and have created my very first triptych. I need to paint the edges before I post it on here, but I am very satisfied with Midnight Dolphin.


Today I have changed a lot of the pictures in my gallery, I hope you enjoy.

2017  4th January

What a long time since I posted anything.  I have been invited to join in  an art installation with 1000 other artists! Entitled 'In our minds there are many rooms...' it is curated by Tim Iliffe and will be on show in Wales .

MArch 1-April 30  Bangor CAthedral;

June 1 - July 31  Venue Cymru

September 23 -Nov 25 MOMA Wales

FEb4 -April 18 2018  Wrexham Methodist Art Space

14th April 2017  I have been happily running craft sessions for people with dementia for 18 months now, and am beginning to be offered other sessions locally for different groups of people. At college my tutor reckoned my main skill was in 3D work and this now makes sense to me.  I have also entered my first major competition this week, an dubmitted a diptych to the Ruskin Prize.  I will be adding /changing my gallery space over the next few months, including some pictures I have been making for soon to arrive babies.

4th July 2017 US Independence day and my painting Wales has been selected for MOMA Wales competition 'Legend' was the theme.

09/09/17  It seems a long time since I posted.  @Wales' made it into the exhibition and has just been collected from MOMA, Wales.  My box for 'In our minds..' (see 4th January) is being exhibited there at the end of the month.

I have finally got my own studio at home, and have painted a dream picture to christen my dream space. The theme of ballerinas on horseback is fron an hallucination seen by someone with #charles Bonner Syndrome.

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