A few paintings that have particular meaning or significance to Frank.
Jan Hart, 2013
I painted this as a demo during a painting Intensive for three students – and was initially surprised that Frank took such an interest in it. He rarely commented on my paintings probably because he felt intimidated by the painting process. But he loved this one and said so! He exclaimed over the light, the water and the sense of mystery as well as the colors. It now hangs in his house, Casa Tranquila – just ten steps from my front door.
Morpho and Atlas
Jan Hart, 2015
The Blue Morpho butterfly became my winged totem welcoming me to Costa Rica in 2008. On a shelf in my kitchen, I placed a glass encased butterfly that was joined, unexpectedly – on the six month anniversary of Frank’s death – by an Atlas moth. I understood it as a certain signal from Frank.
From A Woman Awakens: Life, AfterLife, Gallery 23A
This is a treasured painting I painted to commemorate the amazing connection of these two winged messengers, beyond death. After the three days that the Atlas moth rested just below my framed Blue Morpho butterfly, I visualized the painting. Wings slightly intertwined, they would be touching. And in the background there would be a collection of abstracted nature shapes featuring the Reina de la Noche flowers that scent the night with its intoxicating perfume.
A powerful union. Atlas and Morpho. Transcendent thoughts and truths.
Palm and Water Sketch
Jan Hart, 2016
I had walked the uneven path to the beach at Villa Leonor many times with Frank. It was one of our favorite places near Uvita. The path shared a border with a slow moving and gentle stream that carried water from the mountains back to the sea. The reflections on the water there always intrigued me. Nearly two years after Frank passed I walked there with some friends who were visiting – and noticed a dried palm frond hanging in death from its tree base. I noticed especially the places where the dangling leaves touched the water – and saw the moving shadows and reflections. Instantly I recognized the metaphor. Frank was like the lifeless palm leaves trailing in the water, that was life. Alive. I was a part of the living stream. And where the two touched there was still a conversation – changing, reflecting and continuing.
While my friends played in the warm Pacific, I sat in a quiet corner of the bar/restaurant and painted this. It took only an hour. It speaks volumes to me about my continuing reflections with Frank.
Jan Hart, 2004
The path was a recurring theme during the months after Frank passed. Sometimes, when I awoke in the night I would find myself dreaming about paths and finding my way. And often Frank’s words in the night used the metaphor of the path ahead. One of my favorite paintings from the past is of a pathway through the night, lighted by farolitos.
I painted this as a demo for my class in Española. The lesson was about night time painting and how to turn a day time photo into night time painting by understanding how the eye sees at night.
Farolito Pathway was painted from this photo—taken the day after Christmas, 2003—of a path at ‘Christ in the Desert Monastery’.
At Christmastime in northern New Mexico, paths and roadways are lined with lighted farolitos (little bonfires), also called luminaria, in other parts of New Mexico. Each of these had been created by placing sand in a paper bag (to anchor it) then carefully setting a votive candle into the sand.
I instructed my students that it was only through the farolitos that they could include warm colors in their paintings. The rest of the painting would be done using the night colors that our eyes can see: blues, neutrals, and blue-greens.
Other paintings can be found on Jan’s website janhart.com