Tampa Bay artist Jane Bunker stays inspired in Gulfport

The painter talks about her motivation as part of our 'I am ArtJones' series.

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click to enlarge Meet Jane Bunker, one of the artists of ArtJones in Gulfport - via Jane Bunker
via Jane Bunker
Meet Jane Bunker, one of the artists of ArtJones in Gulfport

Editor's note: Last year, Gulfport artists organized and hosted a home studio tour, ArtJones. Over the course of one weekend, anyone interested in seeing how artists work could walk, bike or drive to home studios featuring Gulfport's working artists. These artists may or may not be well-known locally, but they're all working artists. This go 'round, meet painter Jane Bunker. Here she is, in her own words:

Apparently I could be entertained for hours as a toddler with a box of crayons. At 10, instead of playing on the beach with my friends during the summer, I sat on a stool all day in an adult art school with oil paints and a palette knife. It seems like I was born to paint, but how that happened is one of life’s many mysteries.

Over the years I raised a child and became a psychologist — both adventures that have helped inform and nurture my painting. Now, in my 70s, I am painting full-time again and am grateful to spend most days in my garage/studio. So why do I paint when there are so many other great things I could be doing in Gulfport?!

When I paint I often lose all sense of time. I am present, mindful and focused, and the normal thought distractions of life are absent. I equate this process with meditating. For me it is a deeply spiritual time. Spiritual in the sense that I believe all creating aligns us with Source, with that mystery which is the creative essence of everything. To begin a particular piece, I first have to fall in love with the idea that I want to express, and the work evolves out of the love. Something has touched my heart and that’s what I want to paint. More than the apparent subject matter of trees or flowers or even the light itself, I want to paint the way my heart has been touched. And if the stars are aligned, another of life’s great mysteries, the end result touches your heart as well. And we are connected... without words.

One of my greatest joys is that I am painting 12-15 paintings for an auction to be held at the Carter Woodson African American History Museum in St. Petersburg on March 9, 2019. The proceeds will all be donated to college scholarships for inner city youth. The same paintings will also be displayed as an auction preview at the Mahaffey throughout February, and during Gulfport, Florida’s annual open studio tour, ArtJones. I hope I’ll get to meet you then and share my work with you.

I am Jane Bunker. I am ArtJones.

ArtJones is an annual open studio tour of Gulfport’s professional arts community. 2018 dates are Saturday and Sunday, December 1-2. This series features the musings of ArtJones artists.

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