One can scarcely go awry with an allusion to the Georgian-era English poetic giant George Gordon, Lord Byron, as Jane Reed’s Beauty in the Night (shown here) suggests.
That 24- by 18-inch acrylic on canvas takes its title, more or less, from Byron’s 1814 classic “She Walks in Beauty” and itself dates from 2019. Reed, a Sunset Hills resident, describes it as “a conceptual piece. While painting this work, I wanted to express the ‘flowerness’ of flowers.
“The title has had at least three incarnations, first White Night, then A Flower’s Face and, finally, Beauty in the Night – because of the flower’s white softness, with the enveloping night all around it. This particular painting did give me a feeling of freedom, just like many of my abstracts do.”
By no means incidentally, Reed’s currently basking in the limelight of being the Artist of the Quarter of the prestigious Missouri Athletic Club, as related in the June Cherry Diamond, the club’s monthly magazine. As such, various of her works are gracing both the club’s downtown St. Louis and Town and Country locations till July 31.
Otherwise locally, works by Reed have previously featured in exhibitions at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, the Saint Louis University Museum of Art and manifold other venues. She also has exhibited in California, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
“I became an artist while living in Washington, D.C.,” Reed relates, adding that she studied and trained at Alexandria, Virginia’s Art League before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nonart fields from Saint Louis University. “Because it was the Washington, D.C., area, I was surrounded by amazing museums, like the National Gallery of Art, where I really fell in love with [Victorian-era Dutch post-Impressionist Vincent] Van Gogh.”
The native St. Louisan continues: “I paint in the schools of impressionism, expressionism and abstraction, but primarily, I’m a colorist. Color has such power to express and reflect emotion. Also in my works, I like people to never forget that what they see is created with paint, so I use strong brushstrokes.
“As far as creation goes, I know that painters, writers, poets and composers would agree, their best products come from the Muse. It’s that right brain which must be followed – and given its due.”
Painting, Reed believes, centers on “communicating the essence of a subject, whether a person, a landscape or even a still life. After a few years as an artist, my first trip to the Colorado Rockies completely changed my painting. Finding out that the world of nature is one of the best ways an artist can communicate emotion was a powerful motivator to keep painting. Works from my Colorado series are mostly at the downtown Missouri Athletic Club exhibit.”
Metro area artists who wish to be considered for future installments of this monthly department of Ladue News should email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Art & Soul” in the subject line.