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Stories as They Come to Me
Jane Orleman
July 20 - September 7, 2024





Jane Orleman’s artworks span a lifetime. After moving to Ellensburg in the late sixties, she continued to create art and paint with steady ambition. She took numerous classes at Central Washington University eventually pouring herself into art and painting under the mentorship of faculty like Sarah Spurgeon and William Dunning and graduating in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in fine art.  Her paintings and yard art today reflect decades of mindful and perpetual work in her studio (and yard).  


History has a circuitous method, we arrive at the beginning, again, and again, as we have decades and centuries, before. Jane’s works evolves our awareness of this cycle chronicling (our) cycles through visual narratives derived of subconscious elements and told through ubiquitous and personal symbols and juxtapositions alike.


“My primary focus in painting is the exploration of psychological reality through symbolic narrative imagery. Through my choice of symbols and colors the paintings express my philosophy and emotions. I find the narrative often requires a sweeping canvas to facilitate telling all aspects of the story. My technique involves five to seven layers of oil paint and another three to six layers of glazes.


The paintings are a portal into my deeper self and express a uniquely personal statement that often conveys a universal feminine view. The yard art is made in celebration of life – art for the fun of it.”


Jane’s murals can be “read” as manifestations of dreams. In the studio she acts upon the canvas, provoked by her conscious and subconscious spirit, her mind, eye, and hands  wielding brush, weaving together colorful interpretations of human figures, powerful symbols and creatures, who are often emerging from expansive landscapes with distant mountains and starry skies. The narratives, are of course, unique to the artist, but from time to time, reflect to each of us a truth about ourselves as a luminous horizon joins a dusky blue night sky flowing into interstellar equilibrium only blurring again to new vistas joined by rivers and a sea in an unknown but familiar universe. 


Within the work here are numerous opaque symbols including for example: the human figure in a moment of humor with a smirk or smile, sometimes a small boat and a lighthouse guiding safe passage; a snake; a turtle; a tree; a flower, an egg; a goddess… All become part of her chromatic and mystic visual lexicon.  Her works also explore the spiritual, the unknown, and forces which guide creative impulse; the Yin and Yang, the masculine and feminine; and broach the concept of  time. The “World” symbol (visualized for centuries as three teardrop shapes arranged circularly end to end) contextualizes a third and critical moment, the “Action” without this contextualization, the yin and yang may remain suspended motionless in space.


This expansive collection of paintings are loaded with potent symbolism, some quite familiar and literal or even nostalgic. Some works are less obvious, complex in their layers and juxtapositions, inward looking, personal exploring the vernacular of the spiritual, mystical, or whimsical. Wherever you find yourself, enter the world of Jane Orleman, and enjoy the ride.


-Karl Schwiesow

416 N Pearl Street,

Ellensburg, WA 98926


Tuesday thru Friday 11:00 – 5:00

Saturday 10:00 - 4:00


All Art/Images© Copyright the Artists
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