Jane Font is a painter and instructor whose work expresses an intended emotion or mood through varied subject matter. Born and raised in the Ogden area, Jane has a been a longtime influencer in our local art community as the former owner of Pandemonium Art Gallery on Historic 25th Street, and a member of the Ogden Arts Advisory Committee. Jane’s art career has taken many turns, and most recently she has begun offering workshops and tutorials for budding artists through her YouTube channel, Painting with Jane. Her dedicated 247,000 subscribers follow along as Jane guides them through various processes and techniques when it comes to painting.
We’re thrilled to have Jane as one of our Monarch studio members! Get to know the artist and her work from the Q&A below.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist and how did that evolve for you?
Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be an artist. It was my stock reply when I was a little kid, anytime someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up: “An artist.” I dabbled in it off and on for years, but it wasn’t until I opened Pandemonium Art Gallery on 25th Street in 2013, when I found myself surrounded by inspiration all day long, that I began to paint seriously.
What mediums do you work and what is your preferred subject matter?
I paint mostly in acrylic. I sometimes paint with watercolor, but not often. I don’t really have a preferred subject matter. Mostly, what I try to express in my paintings is emotion, through whatever the subject matter happens to be. Lately, I’ve been painting landscapes.
How long have you lived in Ogden? Can you share a little about your role in the art community here, past and present?
I was born in Utah and grew up in South Ogden and Roy. My husband and I moved to Ogden proper in 2015 to be nearer to the creative community we became involved in when I opened Pandemonium Art Gallery. I opened the gallery because it had been a lifelong dream of mine, and because I saw an opportunity to help showcase local underrepresented artists—the kinds not typically seen in traditional art galleries. I’ve always loved unconventional art and that’s what drove me to do that, but the experience was so much more. I came to know so many amazingly talented people. When you’re surrounded by that, it’s impossible not to be inspired. In the four years the gallery was open, I also became involved in helping organize the 25th Street Farmers Market and served on the Ogden Arts Advisory Committee.
What inspired you to start your “Painting with Jane” YouTube Channel and what can we expect to find there?
My YouTube channel was a natural evolution from the paint parties I had been hosting at the gallery for a couple of years. I created a painting tutorial video and posted it on YouTube, then sort of forgot about it. Then one day I looked at it again and it had several thousand views, so I made another, and another. It eventually blossomed into a fulltime job – planning, practicing, recording, editing, publishing, and promoting a video is a lot more work than people think. I now have a couple of hundred videos on my YouTube channel, all geared to teaching beginners how to paint, and I’ve also got a big, incredibly supportive community of friends I’ve made as a result.
What do you love most about teaching others?
I love showing people that being artistic is not something you have to be born with, but something you can learn. The excitement people express when they learn something they didn’t think was learnable is a great reward to me.
Do you sell your paintings as well or focus mainly on instructing?
Since coming to the Monarch from a private studio, I’ve dedicated one wall as a small gallery space, and I’ve already sold several original pieces. Starting this month, I’m also holding in-person art classes that are much more in depth than anything I’ve ever done before. The classes are 12 weeks long and teach art development and techniques for students of all experience levels.
What do you love most about your Monarch studio? When is the best time for people to come visit you there?
I enjoy working in a space that’s filled with other creative people. That’s something I really missed having a private studio. Art doesn’t grow well in a vacuum. There are so many other artists at the Monarch that I can’t help but be inspired, whether it’s talking to other artists or just walking past their studios and looking in at what they’re doing. It’s become a really helpful and collaborative community. I’m there almost every day of the week, but it’s also my workspace. The best time to visit me is during the First Friday Art Stroll.
Connect with Jane:
Jane will be holding art classes at her Monarch studio every 12 weeks going forward. Anyone interested can sign up on her website at www.paintingwithjane.com/events.