Friday, March 25, 2011

Interview: Jane Seymour's Inspiration

The beautiful and multitalented Jane Seymour needs no introduction. Aside from an impressive acting resume (“Somewhere in Time,” “Live and Let Die,” “War and Remembrance,” “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” “Smallville” and “Wedding Crashers”), Ms. Seymour is a gifted artist. Perhaps her best-known piece of art is Open Hearts, which was inspired by her mother. Fans can see Jane’s work, as well as the artist herself, this month in New York. I spoke with Jane recently about her artwork and what inspires her.

Celebrity Extra: On March 26, you are participating in Artexpo New York, which is sponsored by Free Arts New York. What can you tell me about that art show?

Jane Seymour: I’ve been participating in it now for a number of years, and I love it. It’s a trade show with dealers from all over the world. The thing that I love about it is walking around to see all of the other exhibits, especially the emerging artists section, which is fantastic. You can discover some great new artists.

CE: Being such a well-known celebrity, you must attract quite a crowd.

JS: I do get quite a crowd, which is really nice. People see me paint the Open Hearts, which is all well and good, but I think they get very surprised when they come to my booth and see that I do figurative art, I do photo realism, I do impressionism, I do sculptures. I have a major range of styles.

CE: How does Free Arts New York figure into this? What does that organization do?

JS: They provide art programs for kids in New York, kids who don’t have means. When I go there, we usually paint a huge mural together. It’s really cool. These kids are just so much fun to paint with. They have great teachers who really inspire the kids to do their best. When I go there and I’m painting with them, it’s one of my favorite things. A child’s artwork is the most exciting, because it’s very free. It comes straight from his or her fantasy, with the child pouring it right out there for all to see.

CE: Tell me about Open Hearts.

JS: Open Hearts has become what my mother would have dreamt, which is a universal symbol uniting every belief system. It’s a universal symbol of hope and love. It’s helping people cope with change in their lives. It’s helping people understand relationships in a different way. You can open your heart and let go of things that are said and done, and be in the present moment and reach out to help someone else. By doing that, love comes into your life. Purpose comes into your life.

CE: You have a new art theme, Waves. Can you explain Waves to me?

JS: Years ago, I read a book called “Remarkable Changes,” and it explained that life is kind of like a wave. You are on this body of water that is just moving in the direction that you happen to join it wherever you are in life. You are moving forward — you go to school, you study and you become the kind of person that you are going to be. Then at some point, this wave, this body of water, just picks you up and takes you. There is this moment of crescendo where the sun and the wind and everything sparkles, and it’s just full of this magical energy.

And then that same wave crashes. There are highs and lows in life, a lot like the wave. When it reaches a high, it continues to move. It doesn’t stay there. And like in life, moments don’t stay. They’re part of a big cycle.

CE: Where do you find inspiration for your art?

JS: I find it anywhere and everywhere. I honestly do. And I think once you start painting or drawing, you focus so much on what it is you’re seeing and your response to it that even when you are not painting or drawing, you look at life differently. You look at the world differently. You start seeing amazing patterns and color combinations and textures. It can be clouds. It can be the way the weeds are growing in the middle of a perfect lawn. People go to a museum, look at a piece of artwork and ask themselves, “Is that art?” Art is what you see in it. I think people should give themselves the benefit of the doubt. They need to allow themselves to be transported and raptured by whatever it is they see, allow themselves to go, “Ooooh!” It’s all about the “ooooh!” factor.

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