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Jane Seymour, The Artist

Mary Gibble

   Jane Seymour has dabbled in nearly every art form imaginable. Though perhaps best known for her acting roles–including as a Bond girl in 1973's Live and Let Die and the title role in the '90s television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman–Seymour feels most confident in her current role as fine artist. In addition to showcasing her work in her own art gallery in Los Angeles, Seymour has traveled to numerous galleries across North America, exhibiting her watercolors, oil paintings, pastels and bronze sculptures. Now, her artistic ventures have led her to South Florida and the Wentworth Galleries. She will be at the Wentworth Gallery in Fort Lauderdale on July 19 and in Boca Raton on July 20. Both events are open to the public. Her work, as well as the photography of her son Sean M. Flynn, will be on display and available for acquisition. PBI.com chatted with Seymour about her evolution as an artist and what the future holds for herself and for her children.

 "Artist in Her English Garden," Jane Seymour

When did you first begin painting?

I've always painted, at least, I've always drawn as a child. I didn't really start proper painting until about 22 years ago when I took up watercolors. But I always drew and designed since I was a little kid.

 

What inspired you to pick up a paintbrush 22 years ago?

I went through a tough time, financially and emotionally. I had lost everything. I was at a fundraiser at a child abuse organization I worked with, and an artist had offered to do a painting of your children for a donation to the charity. The artist came to my house and saw the finger paintings in my kids' playroom and said, 'Who did these? They're really good.' And I said, 'They're finger paintings!' And he said, 'No, they're really good.' And I said, 'Well, I did them.' And he offered to give me some free art lessons. So, he started me out. And then it became like a healing for me. To this day, it's something that I do for myself in a kind of spiritual way.

 

So, it's a therapeutic outlet for you?

Yes, that's how it started. Now it's become a fulltime experience. It is very therapeutic. Everyday of my life I see things that I want to paint. Sometimes I'll take photographs of them, sometimes they're just ideas in my head. But I love to paint and once I get started I can't stop.

 

Can you tell me a little more about your training?

Mostly, I've been painting with really great artists who have become my friends...There are a group of artists here I've become friends with who paint in the style of John Singer Sargent and I'm very keen on that. So, I've been painting a lot with them. Before that, I was painting watercolors with one lady who painted watercolors with vodka; she liked to paint in her kitchen with vodka and sea salt, so I tried that. There are other artists I've worked with who've shown me how to throw paint. So, a lot of different artists have shown me a lot of different techniques. Basically, I kind of take some of it and leave some of it and come up with my own style.

 

How do you view painting in relation to the other arts you participate in, such as acting?

Well, painting is something that I do for me. Acting, I have to wait for someone else to write the script, I'm subject to who they've decided to cast around me, who's directing, what the locations are, what the budget is; there are a million things between me and the final product. Whereas when I paint, that is a piece of me, directly. So, I always tell collectors and people that these are like my little babies.

 "Anticipation," Jane Seymour

 

What are your favorite themes to explore?

I love children, mothers and children. The innocence of the small child, especially on the beach because I remember, as a kid, being on the beach and looking out at the waves and just wondering about the power of the water. It was just mesmerizing to me and I think that's why I like living around water. And then, I love flowers. I've always loved flowers. Each flower is like a face, it's completely different. Even if it's the same type of flower, there's nothing generic about it.

 

Are you as much of an art lover as you are a creator?

Absolutely, can't get enough. I love it. I also love fine art photography, and my son [Sean M. Flynn] has become a really great fine art photographer. He'll be showing at the same exhibition.

 

What is your son's work like?

He's drawn to skies. I think he has something in common with every picture he does, and they have incredible skies. He does HDR [high dynamic range] photography, so he manipulates it in the camera, not on the computer.

 

And, I'm sure you nurtured a love of the arts in your children as they were growing up.

I think they couldn't avoid it, it was all around them all the time.

 

What pieces will be on exhibit at the Wentworth Galleries?

 "Open Heart Family," Jane Seymour

A huge collection, I think there'll be over 80 pieces. Some are very small, quite small; some are small watercolor pen and inks. A lot of open hearts, the original open heart paintings, which people will then notice became jewelry.

 

How did your jewelry venture come about?

I was creating it [the open heart design] because it was something meaningful to me as an image, as an abstraction of the way I was raised and the advice that my mother gave me. I made a single necklace, which I wore when I did "Dancing with the Stars." It was my mother's favorite show, and she was dying and she had asked me to do it, even though she knew she wouldn't see me again. So, I had one necklace made for myself. I never imagined it was ever going to become a huge jewelry business.

 

How would you like to see yourself grow as an artist in the coming years?

I don't think way ahead in my life; I tend to try and live in the present moment. I want to do the best I can with the abilities I have and the opportunities that come my way. Meanwhile, I travel a lot. I never lose an opportunity to come up with visual references for new ideas for paintings. My kids are also very artistic...I enjoy celebrating what they do. They're quite talented and they saw that I was having so much fun being creative that they decided that was what they like to do, too.

 

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