DESIGNER - JAN VOICH - IN HER STUDIO
Jan Voich performing her original choreography to Diana Ross medley singing - *Smile* and - *Send in the Clowns* - *Smile" music written c. 1936 Charles Chaplin.
Extremely creative - and hyper sensitive - Jan Voich won the award for the finest choreography and musical interpretation - after her performance in the World Professional Figure Skating Championships ( judged by other - top world professional skaters ) - for her truly - inventive movements on ice.
Jan carries the title of Fourth in the World Professional Championships celebrated in Jaca - Spain.
Above we see her dazzling - the audience while performing a tribute to John Curry - interpreting his *Jazz Suite* from *The First Theatre on Ice* - in London.
Jan reenacts - the *Invisible White Hat Dance* - which Curry ( seen below ) - intended as a homage to soft-shoe dancers. We cannot find a video of his routine - it was brilliant.
Jan tells us - that ... *A standing ovation has always been - my greatest achievement - when performing. *
*Arousing spectators - to this level of a mutual excitement - is much more rewarding than a trophy.*
*I have my trophies in a box - somewhere - yet - the memories of performing to audiences - who watch me - and actually communicating my momentary expression - with the music and energy changes -- my movements - so well perfected - during so many years of training in complete silence - - is - very - alive - in my mind.*
*It is a tremendous sensation when - spectators stand - and join with me - applauding dynamically to my efforts - and years of training - towards a need for - total perfection --- which never seems to arrive.*
*Frank Carroll - once told me - ( within - our discussions of the art of skating ) - that there are seven plus techniques for each move over ice - - yet - if there is no talent - the techniques are of no avail*
*I believe that this theory applies to - all - of the arts. Techniques are essential tools - yet - the inside edges of the person will show - after all of these necessary techniques - are dominated - to absolute perfection. This is when one must begin to expand into the worlds of creation.*
*Frank is a legend now - yet all the preceding masters - Maribel Vinson Owen - Gustave Lussi - our favorite - and a page to come - as Gus - was the father of applied physics on ice - we just added Our Art - to their knowledge - passed on and perfected - from the masters of before. ( Photos of Maribel and Gustave - - to come - brilliant teachers - and - an inspiration for all of us ).*Back to top
Here is - The Studio - where Jan spends many hours.
This silk screen ( above photograph ) by Manuel Hernández Mompó (1927 - 1993) - was acquired - in 1982 - from the Fine Arts Museum in Cuenca.
This area of the studio is constantly changing - as Jan creates - new paintings and designs. She watches them for days - sometimes months - rotating these - reworking them -- before convinced they are complete - and ready to be seen by others.
A confessed introvert - Jan was not very excited to invite us into her intimate lifestyle. We seduced her - - very slowly -- into letting us share her introspective world - with you.
As we worked - she became open - and began to find more - and more photographs - adding ideas and her own text also.
Jan lives in her protected - interior world ... away from the news - politics - economical tendencies -- realities - she is - only stimulated by colors - movement - music - art ( and a few - select - people - usually artists ).
Teresa del Rio - Guillermo Peréz Villalta - Jan Voich
She surrounds herself with her - private art collection - paintings - books - photographs and sculptures - collected and created during her lifetime. We show you some - ( a very small sampling ) - of her art work - on this page.
The - constant flow of music is a most important concern - - this effects creativity and - moods - tremendously.
Not unusual for figure skaters - as they spend their entire lives with music.
Mompó - Graffiti Art
Fascinated with this popular art of graffiti - since college years - Jan created a series of stylized paintings using distinct media.
A favorite entitled - *23 - F* (seen below) - is a reflection from the street walls of Madrid - after the attempted coup d´état of February 23, 1981.
*23-F* - a graffiti painting - Copyright 1981 Jan Voich
Conservative military officers opposed to rapid political and social change seized the occasion of a change in prime ministers to attempt a coup d*état.
On February 23, 1981 - armed civil guards - led by Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero violently invaded the Spanish Parliament - in an effort to seize military power - and return Spain back into to a dictatorship.
King Juan Carlos played a key role in blocking the overthrow by convincing most Spanish military units to remain - loyal to the democratic government.
Jan explains that -
*The coup attempt kept us awake - all night. The Television curiously - chose to play figure skating tapes - until The King Juan Carlos announced the end of this attempted overthrow of democracy in Spain - early the next morning.
23 - F - was the last threat of a return to military dictatorship in Spain.
I enjoyed watching some of my recorded skating routines on Spanish Television - on that very - long - and tense evening.*
*Not one person - living that night in Spain - will ever - ever - forget 23 - F.*
23 - F is painted on the reverse side of a thick clear plastic sheet - using spray paints to recreate the feel of the stone walls - as well as the layers of graffiti - covering them.
Jan does not promote abusing private property with graffiti - yet recognizes the art form of - - people - needing - to express themselves - without concern for profit.
She has an extensive collection of photographs of graffiti - she has taken from walls - in cities all over the world.
Magnetic Fields l Thinking l Resting l Palms l Pedraza
The Magnetic Fields Paintings - *SUMMER* - Acrylic on Board
Acrylic on board - *SUMMER* - above - is a painting - by Jan Voich inspired by magnetic fields. She applied warm summer colors to the concept - ever mesmerized by this natural power. There are two paintings - *SUMMER* and *WINTER*.
The Magnetic Fields Paintings - *WINTER* - Oil on Board
Fascinated - since a very wee age by - the movements produced by magnetic fields - Jan needed to capture these north and south - erratic flows into Summertime and Winter - applying warm and cool oil colors to these powerful forces.
The first painting - *SUMMER* - was created while studying conceptual art under John Paul Jones - and Jerry Burchman - her UC Irvine - art teachers.
Her art teachers were actually well known Contemporary American Artists who animated Jan intensely - and challenged her - by introducing concept - not just techniques.
When Jerry said *create a surface and come back next week* - Jan spent days thinking - then sewed newspapers together - selecting colored threads - following irrational directions - carefully tore areas - tinting these - with different colored teas - and - - Jerry was pleased.
John Paul Jones artworks appear in more than 50 public art collections and museums in the United States and abroad. He has been represented continuously by galleries from 1956 to 1996. He has had 40 one-man exhibitions in major museums and art centers in the United States and Europe and exhibited in over 100 important group exhibitions worldwide. We do miss you.
The Magnetic Fields - Winter
Jan comments ...
*John Paul Jones - was - such a brilliant artist and teacher of the arts - I remember explaining ( I was only eighteen years into life ) - that - I could not understand colors. John Paul laughed - answered - just - feel them - Jan - - do not ever try to understand - - this - - is all you need to - know.*
*WINTER* - is painted with oils - and - as you know - - oil paints take a very long time to dry - and darken upon doing so.*
*This painting came after - *SUMMER* - and is an evolution - as the oils appeared completely white upon mixing and painting - yet slowly became pastel shades as they dried - over many days. I love the oil paints much more than the acrylics - the feel of the paint - it*s thick and natural quality is something you just want to touch - all the time.*
Thinking 2 - Copyright 1981 Jan Voich
The colors are off from the direct flash - we will fix this - - soon - while - SHE - is still - Thinking.
Resting - Oil Paint on Canvas - Copyright 1985 Jan Voich
Resting had no model - she was just in Jan*s head. Below are sections of this painting.
Jan tells us ... *I am fascinated with the thickness of oils - this is to give areas extra textures.
*The way the paints slide - as using them has an extraordinary feeling - - then - - the surprises happen - as they dry -- so very slowly - and darken to new - almost - unpredictable hues.*
*The more you play with them - it is easier to understand what will happen to the colors - with time. They have a life of their own - I enjoy making my own paints from crushing the minerals and adding the natural adhesives - egg yolk - oils ...*
Palms - Copyright 1990 Jan Voich - Return to Top
Palms is a very large painting - this is a small section - not the best.
Pedraza - Copyright 1999 Jan Voich
The beauty - in every corner - in Spain - is seen above - - in their windows - their ceramics - the character of the Spanish people - so - very - soft and - - sensual.
Pedraza - a realistic Oil Painting - ia taken from a typical window from the wonderful town.
John Silengo - studied photography under Edward Steichen and maintained a very close friendships with both - Steichen and Ansel Adams.
Jan was mentored - for many years by John who she met when sent to study art - at a local college by her High School Principal as her art teachers wanted her to be exposed to a higher level.
Much younger than her peers - the college art teachers took Jan in - as their pet. John Silengo - use to enjoy her as a model to photograph - lending her his Leica Cameras for her trips to Europe in the summers. John*s wife - Sharon Silengo - is now working a historical site in ND as a photo archivist. We will miss you John.
Venice - Copyright 1971 Jan Voich
Developing and printing her black and white photographs - Jan spent many hours dedicated to this art form.
Color is also nice. Owning cameras from a - 1950 Minox to a 1959 Rolleiflex and Leicas - now digital is becoming a fascination.
View more stories and >> photographs.
*I Like the Way - You - Dine and Dance Me* - Copyright 2004 - Jan Voich
*Flowers* - Copyright 2004 Jan Voich
Jan writes about her sculptures - *This was a project we were assigned - the model looked exactly like the sculpture I created in clay. I wish I had photographed this man - his strong facial features and beauty of line were exceptional - yet - I was too young then - only sixteen years into life - to know what to do with him.*
*My new college art teachers - brought in other professors and students - to look at my work - I was a bit confused. I finally placed him in our lath house amongst my Mother*s Orchid Collection - and - - he looked - like - he belonged there.*
*Her Eye* - Copyright 1973 Jan Voich
DRAWINGS - WHILE STAYING IN BAJA CALIFORNIA
Sea Gull - Copyright 1998 Jan Voich
Spending a summer in Baja California - Jan was able to sketch from *The House* - that her best friends lent her.
The view of the Pacific Ocean from the terrace - with the Palm Trees - and - - well cared for gardens stimulated her - immensely - for many days.
Palm Trees and Sea Gull - Copyright 1998 Jan Voich
Geraniums - Copyright 1998 Jan Voich
Jan explains that - *The art supplies were limited. I used a box of colored pencils ( ten colors only ) - purchased in a local baja shop.*
Palm Trees - Copyright 1998 Jan Voich
*The View from the House* - Copyright 1998 Jan Voich
Jan comments - *I was happy - while living a whole summer in Baja. I loved the local small shops - and chatting with the Mexicans - about the Madre Patria (Spain) - as my accent - and usage of the language - is very Proper Castilian Spanish - and they recognized this immediately - of course - and teased me much.
*The weekends were invaded with Southern Californians and - Baja changed greatly - - so I stayed in and sketched - listening to a wonderful jazz collection - that my friend Dr. Carole Sacre-Kramer and husband Hermand Kramer had in their home.*
*I sketched The View from the House - and later - - gave this to Carole Sacre - which is what I usually do with my art work. I have never sold any of the pieces I create - they are mostly given away - to people who are very important to me.*
*The Mexican people are extremely sweet in nature - and - - time - has - absolutely - no meaning or importance to them.*
*Un Bodegon* - by Aida
Jan writes - *This is a pastel - given to me from - my little friend - Aida - who - I use to take ice skating with me - when - in Madrid.*
*Children are wonderful artists - yet Aida - is spectacular.*
*Her very favorite drawing was - her gift - - to me (at only - eight years into life) - and one of my greatest treasures.
*Just look - at her - Flowers*.
Jan Voich - Photographed by - Carole Sacre Kramer
Dr. Carole Sacre - now - learning to enjoy retirement - has been hitting golf balls - in their heads with Herman A Kramer. All enjoy - her quest to reach perfection in life - - she has signed up - for - Spanish classes - photography - golf and other lifelong obsessions. We have much more to tell about Carole J Sacre and her husband - soon. AMAZING.
Born and raised in California - Jan studied Fine Arts - Art History and Graphic Arts at UC Irvine and UCLA. Her extensive Fine Arts training has produced - an unusually creative needlepoint designer.
Memling Gul - Painting Vase of Flowers c. 1485 - by Hans Memling
Inspired by a tapestry from the painting titled - Vase of Flowers c. 1485 - by Hans Memling - this design has evolved during five years and is now available in the original colors of the painting as seen in the Museum Thyssen-Bornmisza in Madrid - Spain. We hope you saw the finished pieces we lent to the fabulous Frick Collection - NYC.
Please appreciate the precision of the hand painted needlepoint canvases - as seen above.
Jan - now - Writes - about her > Designs
*When I was very young - I remember my father saying - - she is wonderful - - just give her a box of toothpicks - and she will spend the day creating things!*
*This is me - - at a very - wee age - in fancy dress - ( I cut my own hair )*
*He ( my father ) - once sent me out fishing - in the little creek - behind our summer cabin in Lake Arrowhead.*
*Well - at five years old - I did not quite know what to do - (nor that there were not any fish in the creek) - however I obsessively spent the day - holding on to my plastic rod with - a big two inch red hook dangling over - that wonderful - flow of colours.*
*Now - very many years - and life stories later - still tenacious - I discovered the art and beauty of a new media - needlepoint - painting with small dots of coloured fibers.
As one of the new designers I am extremely pleased with the warm reception I have been given by the - long established needlework world. Thank you.*
The Little Rooster - Copyright 2004 Jan Voich
*Passionate about Spanish Ceramics - and an avid collector - I try to translate the fine brushstrokes into needlepoint. The colors of the paints are seen in bowls from Sevilla - below - as I enjoy the fine freehand paintings daily - so very lovely - they are - the cobalt blues and coppers - each stroke - has - my admiration.*
*As you know - when painting - the artist freely mixes and instantly creates her colours. Three tubes or pigments - of primary colours + white and black are the only needs - Oil paint - - acrylic - if the results are doubtful - you just paint over them. Choose a surface - a brush - and - paint. That simple - that solitary - the freedom is complete.*
*Now - needlepoint designing - (painting and reproduction) - is a much slower - - and - exact proposition - as the colours must be died into the medium - the fibers.
These colours (paints) depend on many others - *my exquisite - fiber people - ( with the dye lot blues )* - they are up there -- > in England.*
*Then - the needlework canvas must be perfectly squared - and chosen by their weaves and sizes - this is handled by *my elegant canvas people* - ZWEIGART - who send me rolls (nice and square) - from Germany and Switzerland.*
*Suddenly I found myself amidst a Precision Team Choreography -- yes - we all need each other - and enjoy working together passionately - *a very diverse - intelligent - out of the box thinking people*. We have - great fun challenging each other´s wit - in our communications.*
*Twenty-eight components (not including the hundreds of shades of yarn) are used to create my kits - coming from fourteen different sources - located in five different countries.
Preparing the *recipe* - ( sorting the amounts of wool ) - for each kit - then carefully labeling the skeins ... well - more often than not ... we talk to the skeins - and tell them about the new home they are going to.
The Design and Production is performed in our studio - even our foam board boxes - all of this effort with the thought of delighting you.*
*I also enjoy and admire - *my sales people* - Our Shops - from all over the world - are always phoning - and emailing -- with new stories and - wonderful compliments - this -- is what - keeps - me - - - moving.*
*You would be amazed at - the family feel - this industry has - completely far away - from the world tendencies of today. I send all of - You - my - Flowers*
*The combination of colours is the major challenge in needlepoint designing - as you will not see the results until the piece is completely finished.*
*The composition and form is - of course - of utmost priority - however the colour selections will make the difference in the final creation. A magnificent design may be ruined by choosing just one wrong colour - this I know well - *The Hunter* seen below - was stitched four times - until the colors meticulously matched the authentic paints of the original 17th century tiles.*
The Hunter - The Countrywoman
*Each Dot of colour must be carefully chosen and placed - impeccably - in her spot - the shading is almost painful. My first experiences as a needlepoint designer produced a hypnotic absorption - which one must be very careful with - ( especially when the water overflowed out of the bathtub and flooded the wood parquet floor ).*
*Wool has a life of it*s own. It breaths - changes colors with the lights - the stitches darken the tones ... the luster ...*
*I was an ignorant snob to have considered the needle arts a rancid and lesser art form - needlepoint is an incredibly fascinating world of expression. I design under the pseudonym of Samantha Taylor - partially due to the fact that no one is able to pronounce my name.*
*If you actually read this - thank you for your interest and - your patience.*
There are - many more stories to tell - especially - the adventures of - Jan - flying herself - around the world - as an - Instrument Rated Pilot. This will - - perhaps - become a new page of photos and entertaining stories - soon.
Be certain to view some of her > photographs - also more about her > designs
and superb > Beach Chairs
Feel free to email or phone us - with any questions - to provide some feedback on our products - give us suggestions for new ideas and themes - or to just say hello !
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