Vibrant Colors With Both Paintbrush And Needle, Thread, Fabric



When Jan Ransom is in a creative mood she might have a paintbrush poised in her hand over a choice of watercolors or she might be easing a quilting needle through fabric and batting.

"I always have a project going," the sprightly, 76-year-old said.


Jan Ransom painting hollyhocks. "Art is in my family. My great uncle illustrated the original "Jungle Book" and my mother taught art in Beverly Hills," Jan Ransom said.

When told that she looks much younger, she replies that her energy level has to do with not drinking soda or eating processed foods and always learning.

"The more knowledge you put in your head, the longer you live," Ransom said.

Her work as president of the Rim Area Gardeners, as a docent at the Rim Country Museum and her involvement in Daughters of the American Revolution, keep Ransom's proverbial glass full.

Although she concentrates on the positive in life, Ransom, concentrates on the negative and the positive in her paintings.

For instance, she describes the green in some of her floral watercolor painting as being the composition's negative aspect.

The "positive" aspect are the leaves she brought to the fore with slightly different color paint and the placement of the flower itself.

Ransom loves to travel and has "many pictures still in my camera waiting to be painted" after a trip. She snaps landscapes and flowers that catch her eye to use later in a piece.

She also paints portraits.

Ransom paints on Upo, a slick paper for watercolors that lends itself to the art of abstraction.


A garden cabbage in watercolor.

She has also experimented with "monotypes done with a roller on Lucite, with certain types of paint, that allows for more abstraction."

She has been painting with watercolors for 30 years.


Ransom designs and hand-stitches her quilts and quilted wall hangings.

"Quilting is another way of expressing art," Ransom said.

Her mother-in-law, grandmother and aunt were all quilters. Ransom took up the art 25 years ago.

Color is important to either art form.

"It's about using opposites," she said.

"The colors you like are the colors you wear -- the colors you paint your home -- the colors that work for you.

"Black is death, white is cold.

"I'm very bright in my colors and I like warm shades," Ransom said.

She is one of the featured artists during October at Down the Street Art Gallery in Payson.


Vibrant fabric colors draw Jan Ransom's eye, as in this pictorial hand-quilt that depicts Spain.


Name: Jan Ransom

Mediums: Quilts and watercolor art prints

Motto: The joy of art is how you live it.

Advice to beginning artists: If you are interested in art, then first learn to draw. Then in your travels, stop at art museums and look at art. If you feel art is what you want to do, there are so many windows to explore. Learn how to take photographs - pull items of interest out and use them to follow your art.

Hometown: Hollywood, Calif.

Why Payson? I have a son in Flagstaff.

Upcoming project: I have blocks for a quilt ready to be put together.

Hobbies: History and gardening.


Food: Japanese

Sport/team: Baseball - The Padres!

Movie: "Harry Potter"

Authors: Tony Hillerman and Khaled Hosseini

Points of contact: Down the Street Art Gallery, 703 W. Main St., Payson (928) 468-6129 or e-mail (928) 468-8593

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