The Life of a Painter

May 23, 2019

Jan Critchell is a Cassowary Coast artist known for her delicately balanced watercolour paintings.

Born in Surrey, England, she travelled to many countries all over Europe, Asia and America and, also resided in Africa for two years. She enjoyed boating, owning a narrow boat on the British Canals and later a Dutch barge which she and her husband Ed took to France. Spending often months at a time sailing the waterways of England and France, Jan and her family experienced breathtaking countryside including farmland, towns and forests.  

‘I love that art is a pastime that you can do wherever you go.’ Jan stated. ‘I used to sketch scenes in pencil as we travelled along on our boat and then used pen and ink and watercolour to add detail, once we were moored up for the night’.

Jan always enjoyed painting and drawing since leaving school and often took evening classes in England.  She regularly submitted her works into local competitions and sold many of her watercolour paintings in London craft markets.  

She emigrated to Australia in 2003 to be closer to her children, Simon Critchell and Debbie Daly. Before long, Jan became an active volunteer at Mission Arts while painting watercolours of the Cassowary Coast. She taught children’s workshops at the art centre for over ten years in painting, drawing skills and collage. 

Although Jan’s main focus is watercolour, she is also competent in acrylics, oils, collage and drawing.  Her works are often vibrant and involve delicate brushwork. There is fine mastery of light, space and movement through her art especially in the way she provides depth, texture and value in complex works. “I paint a range of subjects, from still life, surrounding Mission Beach environment to intimate family portraits.  Painting brings me great satisfaction and enjoyment and I love sharing it with others.” said Jan.

Currently residing at Tully Nursing home, Jan’s creative skills remain active. She produces painted greeting cards to sell locally, some of which are available for purchase in the Mission Arts Gallery Shop.  Each card is carefully designed by herself and caters for all occasions, birthdays, christenings, new born etc.  Jan is presently painting several wooden flower sculptures made by Tully Men’s Shed to be hung in the new wing at the Tully Nursing home and she still enjoys acrylic painting on canvas.

We thank Jan for her many years of service and involvement at Mission Arts and are pleased to know that her artistic pursuits continue. There is just no stopping her!