Featured Artist Jan Crooker

Artsy Shark is pleased to present the art of Jan Crooker. Enjoy her delightful portfolio and see more by visiting her website.


Morning Coffee


Making art has always been what I learned to do as a child to express all ranges of emotion. (I was a participant in the Toledo Museum of Art Children’s Classes for five years and later a Toledo Museum Walbridge Sinclair Scholarship winner.) My media has changed over the years from drawing and ceramic sculpture to painting.


Two Peppers


I switched from colored clay to paint when my son was a participant on the front line in the invasion of Iraq. A new media seemed a good choice as I needed to work hard and dig deeper to avoid worrying every minute. No matter what the media, color and the immediacy of the process has always been the most important part of the process for me.


Star Magnolia


I see making art parallel to working out. I want to work and get into what athletes call the zone. I want to look at the time and realize that I have been lost in my creative process.


Sorted Marbles


My work has always been about using color. My drawings were in colored pencil and my clay was in colored porcelain, but nothing feels as great as paint. I want to catch the highest moment of brightness and contrast when life seems most intense. I love simultaneous contrast and dramatic light.


Morning on Atlantic Avenue


Painting in plein air in the early morning really gives me that rush of color that I love. I have recently decided that if I can’t have natural color, I will make my own, so on dull days, I set up intense objects to paint.


Aglow in the Pines


Right now, I am working on plein air pieces whenever I can block out the time. I am also painting as series which I call “Bright Memories” where I am using objects from my childhood or objects which remind me of childhood. I have tried to nurture my own creativity by actively looking at current and past artists’ work, not to copy, but to be inspired. (Van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Wayne Thiebaud, Janet Fish are all favorites of mine.) I love the light coming off water, so I spend as much time as I can near water and the beach.


Month of Sunny Days


Making time to make art is important to me, but sharing it with others is too. I still enjoy teaching as I feel I can help others find their expressive zone. I tweet as @DEpleinair and that has opened up many opportunities and inspirations.



  1. Interesting colors Jan, especially in the still life, artificial dawn. And I relate to your finding peace & meditation in the process of creating & seeing nature, life.

  2. That is gorgeous work

  3. Beautiful work Jan – I’m inspired by your bold approach to color & contrast! My work seems to end up softer & muted even when I try to make it deeper, more intense in tone (any tips handling that?) Thanks for sharing :>

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