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Colorado painter shares a lifetime of artwork in new book

Artist Jan Thoreen Lewis has published a book of her paintings and her creative process. (Courtesy Jan Thoreen Lewis)
Dolores Public Library will host Jan Thoreen Lewis exhibit in December

Cortez artist Jan Thoreen Lewis sees her paintings as a journey of discovery, and she wants to take you along for the ride.

Her new book, “Fire in the Sky, An Artist’s Love Affair with Colorado,” features some of her best oil and watercolor paintings created over her long career.

“I find beauty in just about every place I look in the world. I try to capture the essence and translate the beauty into a painting so others can enjoy what captured my heart,” Lewis said in a recent interview at her home studio.

Her fascination with nature, landscapes, people and places comes through in evocative images with depth and detail that draw in the viewer.

Cortez artist Jan Thoreen Lewis captures the culture and beauty of Colorado. She recently released a new book on her paintings, and will have an exhibit in December at the Dolores Public Library. An artist reception will be on Dec. 3 from 4-6 p.m. (Courtesy Jan Thoreen Lewis)

Her book also chronicles her experiences as a painter in succinct prose. She is on a mission to pass on her artistic process and knowledge to inspire others to take up the creative arts.

“It is a celebration of my 50 years as a professional artist, I wanted to honor the people and process that made it work, to share that experience,” Lewis said.

She tells stories from the studio, the people she worked with and learned from, and the exciting but scary feeling artists get when they take a risk and try something new.

For example, after painting watercolors for decades, she got bored and took up oil painting, discovering a new artistic muse.

“If you lose the passion for something you do, then it is time to change,” she said.

The glory of Mesa Verde is captured in this painting by artist Jan Thoreen Lewis, of Cortez. (Courtesy Jan Thoreen Lewis)

During the pandemic shutdown, Lewis took to Facebook live to give free online tutorials on painting with oils and watercolors.

She enjoyed it so much it gave her the idea to become an artistic coach to encourage women to discover a spark of creativity.

“I want to help women feeling stuck in their lives who want to do something creative, but don’t know how to get there,” Lewis said. “I believe we were all created to be creators, and I want to take women through the process so they can walk into the freedom of that. It’s transformative.”

Lewis will display her paintings at the Dolores Public Library in December. She will hold a reception on Dec. 3 from 4-6 p.m. to talk about the exhibit, her new book and the creative process.

For more information on Lewis and her artwork, visit janthoreenlewis.com. Her new book is available on amazon.com.

Artist Jan Thoreen Lewis has published a new book of her paintings and life as an artist for 50 years. “Fire in the Sky. An Artist's Love Affair with Colorado” is available at amazon.com (Courtesy photo)