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Going Large: Collage on Canvas


In my art studio, space is limited, and there is just barely room for this latest 4 foot by 8 foot canvas. I love working in large scale. I won’t give it up for anything, though I still find making small 14″ x 11″ collages on paper and unstretched canvas a way to grow as a painter daily by leaps and bounds.

Jan Kirstein

“The Fall of Western Civilization,” by Jan Kirstein. 4′ x 8.’ Mixed media on canvas. 2019

“The Fall of Western Civilization” Details

Click on above images to enlarge.

Detail: “The Fall of Western Civilization.”

The title of this work comes from the general shift of virtually everything I see around me on every level, in government, both Federal and State, in institutions, in relationships, in land, in all aspects of our culture, in all aspects of life. Though with the changes comes movement and flexibility with new connections occurring at a most rapid pace.

Jan Kirstein

“Let It Rip”!


There are the encouraging words I received from my friend Judy Sato when I posted on Facebook my latest collages. Thank you Judy and I believe I will!

I have been working with a small series of paper pieces combining Sumi E Ink, graphite, pastel and Japanese Rice Paper. I then moved to small canvas pieces, then finally to a large 48″ x 56″ stretched canvas. Unfortunately I can barely move it because of its weight. But at least I have proven that large paintings are still possible for me!

“Wham-O.” Mixed Media on stretched canvas, 48″ x 56.” 2019 by Jan Kirstein

I am an American contemporary artist and writer working primarily with mixed media. My paintings and collage work juxtapose diverse imagery to explore ideas of emerging fragmentation and reconstruction through fluctuating recognition and realization. These perceptions then can transform into a meaningful and unified whole.

It is my intention that the viewer look at one of my paintings as if one is sifting through an archeological dig of the subconscious mind, moving as though through layer upon layer of earth. Barely recognizable forms emerge from the surface of the paintings into a conscious gestalt where meanings are meant to galvanize through the viewer’s own personal references and connections.

“Wham-O” detail, by Jan Kirstein

My work comes from a deeply personal and intuitively expressionistic perspective. I want to create work that I can view as reflective of my own personal responses to environmental and cultural influences and experiences both surrounding me as well as moving through me at any given moment. Creating art allows me to assimilate and make sense of the world and of myself. Painting can serve as an anthropological tool moving through the subconscious mind, allowing for self-reflection and a greater comprehension of the world.

“Wham-O” detail #2 by Jan Kirstein

Movement through brushwork, markings and layered, open passages lead the viewer on a journey of discovery, enabling the creation of a myriad of associations and insights. Through observing the relationships of applied materials to a surface, layers of seemingly random associations can merge into realization, recognition and insight.

My materials often include Sumi e Ink, Calligraphy brushes, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, acrylic and a variety of papers including Japanese rice paper and canvas.

“Wham-O” detail #3 by Jan Kirstein

I have been greatly influenced by artists from the past. Matisse has influenced and inspired my love of brilliant color and its interactions. I have also been greatly inspired by the expressive paintings of the abstract expressionists such as Helen Frankenthaler for her bold and sensitive use of organic poured paint shapes, by Franz Kline for his stark use of diagonal bold lines and stark contrast and by Robert Rauschenberg for his unique juxtaposition of cultural icons into a variety of assembled collages.

Mixed Media Collage by Jan Kirstein. 14″ x 11.” 2019

Though I began my journey as a realistic figure artist, I quickly became inspired by all of the Abstract Expressionist painters of the 20th Century. Upon this discovery, I moved into my lifelong exploration of the abstract and expressive modes of painting and drawing. I have continued pursuing this vein of expressive exploration as a professional painter for over 35 years, and feel that I am just beginning to find buried treasures through the process of the creative discovery.

By Jan Kirstein

Mixed Media Collage by Jan Kirstein, 14″ x 11.” 2019.
Multi Media Collage by Jan Kirstein, 14″ x 11.” 2019.
Multi Media Collage by Jan Kirstein, 14″ x 11.” 2019

Many thanks to inspiration fro Nancy Hillis’ book: “The Artist’s Journey.”

KY. Derby Day With Healing and Art


Put your money on the Darkhorse.
Win on Derby Day with a Darkhorse favorite: KIRSTEINFINEART. Click on the above photo to see the latest KIRSTEINFINEART fashion creations on VIDA.

Janis Kirstein

Fine art, reiki and fashion accompany Ky. Derby Day like a horse and carriage. 💘

Fashion made from Fine Art Studio of Jan Kirstein.

A quote from my dear and erudite friend, and one of my very first students from over 40 years ago: Architect Jay Kratz.

This beautiful, flowing top features drop shoulder sleeves, a flattering V-neck and a hi-low silhouette. This soft and easy, flexible shape is perfect for casual or dressy attire depending on the styling.

Time to get back to my studio and stoke the creative 🔥 🔥 🔥 fires!

A Day in the Art Studio with Jan Kirstein


The next phase of my painted canvas panels happened today. I finalized the stretched canvas with a new layer of Sumi e ink.

Silver glitter creates a bed for the black painted marks.

A thread or two of colored pastel laces through scatterings of Japanese paper collage pieces. I could do this again. Tomorrow.

I am deeply indebted to Nancy Hillis and her new book :”The Artist’s Journey” for my new freshly invigorated inspiration to work in my art studio. Creating brings healing and a flow of wellbeing.

Plus I actually got 8 hours of sleep last night! (An accomplishment for me.)