Artist Jane Banzhaf

An example of fine art by Jane Banzhaf

Photo of Jane Banzhaf


Surprised by Joy is the title of a well-known book by C.S. Lewis.  Since childhood, Jane has been seized at times - surprised by joy! - just goob-smacked by the absolute beauty around her, by ideas and thoughts that literally immobilized her by their sheer wonder, to the point that her mother despaired of her ever getting home from elementary school on time and threatened to embarrass her by fetching her in person and walking her home.  And Jane wondered how on earth anyone could not understand that the myriad small worlds of wildflowers and bugs on the route home demanded her intense concentration and analysis.  For sure, there was a grand story behind every clump of weeds in a dusty field!
Fast forward to the present, and nothing has much has changed.  Jane's attention is still taken hostage in the middle of serious conversations by sparkling sunsets and fat, yellow bumblebees - much to the consternation of the more single-minded.  Except that, after 60-some years, Jane's expression of these moments of wonder, of God's breath moving aside the shroud of the ordinary, has blossomed into the art of watercolor.  Each of Jane's paintings is the outworking of a story, a striving to find that bit of light and pattern and intensity which guides the viewer deeper into a scene or subject.  
Art has always been part of Jane's life - doodling during classes, discovering in seventh grade that she could achieve a respectable facsimile of a rose with only pencil and paper, later dabbling in oils and tole painting, and finally succumbing to the untamed lure of watercolor with that first magical stroke of a loaded brush on paper.  In fact, all of life seems an unlimited palette upon which to create!  Immersion in piano study and performance from early childhood, discovery [...]

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