Brush and palette knife in hand, Jane Faudree reflects her love of nature and passion for visual art. Painting under the influence of French and American impressionists, combined with classical instruction, Faudree captures life and all its beautiful scenes on canvas. Her award-winning art draws inspiration from around the world; yet, always finds its way home to North Carolina. This Thursday, March 12, her work will be featured at the Spectrum Gallery, with an opening reception featuring live music, as viewers take in the latest display of art.
“Anything beautiful attracts me, but something unusual is more interesting to paint,” Faudree says. “I love shadows and strong light on a subject. Most recently, I have been painting steps: old brick steps, leading to houses in downtown Wilmington, steps at Duke Gardens, in Maine when I was visiting a friend recently, or [from] wherever I happen to be. Someone, who was healing from a recent divorce, bought one of my step paintings. He told me that it represented his ascension into his new life.”
Faudree’s love affair with art started young. Whether it was doodling on the corners of paper in school, drawing over report cards in crayon or sketching her classmates, she was obsessed. It wasn’t until she took some classes in high school that she was able to apply paint to canvas. She was hooked instantly.
Growing up, she was enthralled with artists like Renoir. A few years ago she met contemporary artist John Carroll Doyle in Charleston and immediately fell in love with his luminous work. From there a love of contemporary art spawned. Kevin McPherson, Camille Prezwodek and James Kerr are a few of her favorites.
“I loved music, too, and had studied voice and piano for a while, but my desire was always to study art in college, not music,” Faudree says. “My father had other plans, though (for me to study music), and he, eventually, won out. It wasn’t until later I had the chance to study with some phenomenal master painters. The first was Luana Luconi Winner. She’s known for her amazing portraits, but she paints almost anything. I learned so much from her, working with both pastels and oil. I’ve also studied with Camille Prezwodek and was a student of Henry Henche, Richard McDaniel, Rick McClure and many others. I gleaned whatever I could from each teacher. I think it’s important to have your own style though, so I never tried to copy my teachers. I took what made sense to me and built on it.”
Her first big break came in the midst of a faux pas. She walked into the Beaufort Fine Art Gallery, without an appointment, and showed her work to the owner, Lee Dellinger. Fortunately, Dellinger loved her work and started representing Faudree at the gallery. Afterward, the doors just kept opening.
“I have been extremely blessed, so I guess this is just what I am supposed to be doing,” she says. “And might I add, I absolutely love it! In my art, whatever excited me about the subject is what I want to show in rendering the painting. I want the viewer to feel something when they see my work. I want them to experience beauty—or to be thoughtful about something profound that it ignites in their soul.”
Faudree lived in Raleigh for 26 years before she migrated to Wilmington 15 years ago. It was the water that drew her closer to the coast. With the ocean, river, Intracoastal Waterway, and Greenfield Lake just down the street, Faudree is never without inspiration for her newest canvases. It’s not just our town’s scenic, natural beauty that makes her happy. She also revels in downtown Wilmington’s unique atmosphere of architecture, boats, sidewalk scenes, and people. It doesn’t get much better for the native.
“Being from North Carolina, I have so many memories of road trips visiting my grandparents near the Virginia border in their home among acres and acres of farmland,” Faudree tells. “There were ponds, orchards, cows, chickens, pigs, and did I say tobacco? One of the paintings in the current show at Spectrum is called ‘Tobacco Road.’ It’s reminiscent of not only Franklin County where my grandparents lived, but Pitt County where I was born.”
Faudree has found Wilmington to be a vital and exciting place to be as a painter. She connected with the Wilmington Art Association’s numerous artists and even served as hostess chairman. “Volunteering is a great way to meet other artists and get involved,” Faudree says. “After a Rick McClure workshop, Christine Bosna Farley and I put our heads together and formed a plein-air group for a couple years where we painted outdoors. I used to email everyone, and we would meet and just paint around Wilmington. Thomas Herrera-Mishler used to let us paint at Airlie Gardens without charge, but that was a while ago. Lately, I just tag along with some artist friends, and let them do all the planning.”
For the March 12 reception, Faudree will showcase paintings inspired by natural beauty, including an Italian garden, two oceanscapes, one of Greenfield Lake, a downtown vignette, complete with the steps she has been painting recently. As well, she will have her “Tobacco Road” piece, “Ethel” the cow, and several more works that she’s keeping a surprise. Most of the paintings are oil, but one is acrylic and another is pastel. The gallery promises to be an eclectic show of Faudree’s talent.
Paintings by Jane Faudree
1125 Military Cutoff Rd.
Hangs through March
Hours: Mon.-Wed. and Fri. -Sat., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.