Meet the artist: Name: Jan Schuster-Callus Current Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Where can we see your work?
Kurnell Art Gallery, Kurnell (birthplace of modern Australia) part of a co-op of artists; Yearly Major/Minor Art Exhibitions around Sydney; janschuster-callus.ws (website); Art By Jan Schuster-Callus / Beaches/(Facebook).
Do you have work for sale?
In what media do you work?
Oils, watercolors, printmaking and silver jewellery.
How would you describe your style?
I would say more traditional, with a bit of contemporary in my printmaking
Who would you say have been influences on your work?
My first teacher, Sister Gertrude (Bishop Ryan), taught us to ‘see’ which I have never forgotten. Minot State Teachers College was Walter Piehl for watercolors.
In Sydney an artist, Ros Psakis, for loosening up my oil paintings and my learning to draw with my paint brush; and Laura Stark’s Wednesday printing class for bringing back my love of printmaking and a ‘press’ to use for the process.
Travelling through Europe and visiting all the art galleries with their amazing life altering works of art from the Masters certainly influenced me. The Pre-Raphaelite Movement and Sandro Botticelli are still my favorite.
Are there particular themes you like to explore in your work?
Not sure I have a theme, I go through phases, having lived in different countries and traveling inspires me. My first paintings in ND, I painted the snow, bare trees and barns. Moving to Australia with the beautiful beaches, I love painting the colors of the ocean and started my ‘Children Series.’ Printmaking I tend to go a different way, using various techniques to tell a story, Pow Wow dancing to European doorways to music makers. All very different.
What do you most enjoy about the creative process?
Starting a new project, the energy, excitement, the possibilities, in paintings it’s the white canvas, making that first mark, working fast you feel freedom. It gets harder as the painting progresses.
Printmaking has so many different aspects, especially the traditional etching with its technical process of using acids and wax, collagraphs are fun and experimental, I like combining the two processes – they work really well together; solar printing can be a bit like drawing, a softer process, while dry point, lino and wood is more like carving. I love that exciting moment that you really never know how your print will turn out until you lift it off the press.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in North Dakota, born in Grand Forks, Fargo for a while as a child, then to Harvey, Velva and finally to Minot where I attended Bishop Ryan, graduated Minot High and two years at Minot State, a year in Northern California. When my dad passed away, I moved to Glasgow, Scotland for a year with my mother, was accepted to London’s City & Guilds School of Art in Kennington for four years, gaining a Certificate in Lettering and Higher Certificate in Printmaking.
I moved to Sydney when my mother married an Australian we had met in Morocco on holidays. I worked in different aspects of advertising for many years before starting to paint full time. Married the love of my life John, who had two beautiful children and now we have seven grandkids, which was the inspiration for my ‘Children on the Beach’ Series.
I am part of the St George Art Society and Oatley 101, on the committee of Southern Printmakers and Friends of Hazelhurst, organising art exhibitions and bus trips.