Ocean Galleries is celebrating one of the many artistic sides of the multi-talented Jane Seymour when she brings her “California Colorist” art exhibit to Stone Harbor over Labor Day weekend. Guest will have an opportunity to meet Seymour at gallery receptions from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Aug. 31, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1.
Catamaran Media Development Director Joe Molineaux caught up with Jane Seymour to talk art, TV, movies, charitable work and more. Here are some highlights of that conversation:
Joe: We see many actors and entertainers go into other businesses, outside of acting. How and when did you discover your interest in art and specifically painting?
Jane: I have been painting since I was a little girl. My mother kept all my school notebooks I drew on and painted on. I could have followed the path of an artist but chose to be an actress instead. Today, I paint where I want to be and what I what to see.
Joe: Your career as an actress and artist has afforded you the opportunity to travel for work as well as for pleasure. How has that global experience, and what you have seen throughout your career, influenced your art?
Jane: I visit art galleries and art museums everywhere I go. I love to see what local artists are doing, always take photos that inspire me with colors and shapes as well as color variations. I take it all home and get inspired to paint and create.
Joe: My wife, Allison, is a huge fan of you and your work, and like millions of other people, of the film “Somewhere in Time.” At what point after the film was released did you and the people involved realize it would have such amazing staying power and become one of the most beloved romantic films of all time?
Jane: That is an interesting question. When I first read the script, I fell in love with it. Chris (Christopher Reeve) and I both fell in love with it. There was an actor’s strike the year the movie was released, and we were unable to go out and promote it. While it may be called a “chick flick,” I disagree, especially when Gen. Colin Powell told me he watched the movie twenty-five times
Joe: You have been acting for 50 years now. ... How is that possible? But I would like you to share your thoughts on such a longstanding and successful career.
Jane: I actually started professionally acting and dancing at 13 years old, so it is over 50 years today. Everything started happening quickly. At 20 years old I was a Bond Girl in the movie "Live and Let Die." I also worked in the theater, television and film. Then when I moved to America, I only played American speaking roles. No one actually knew I was British until I did a movie for television about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. That led to many more roles and then of course Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
Joe: Is it true you have authored and co-authored over two dozen books? Do you enjoy writing?
Jane: Yes, and at first I was not sure I could write books. Then I realized if I write like I speak, I found the writing was easier and I enjoyed it. Of course I have a great editor as well.
Joe: How did the "Open Hearts" jewelry collection come about in 2008?
Jane: That has been one of the great experiences of my life. I was inspired by a philosophy my mother always shared with me about “keeping your heart open” as a way to cope with difficulties in life. When life was difficult, that was the advice that my mother shared with me. Sometimes the biggest challenges you face provide opportunity. I created the two connected hearts that were “open.” To everyone’s surprise I was able to trademark the “open heart” design. I wore a necklace based on the design and the people at Kay Jewelers saw me wear it on the television show "Dancing with the Stars," and they asked me to work with them.
Joe: And that helped lead to the Open Hearts Foundation?
Jane: The Open Hearts Foundation is a nonprofit charity established to raise funds to enrich the lives of children in the areas of health, arts, sports and education. The charity supports those charities that need attention and recognition of the work they do helping others. My daughter Katie actually started an organization called “Young Hearts.” The group helps connect young people to charitable giving opportunities.
Joe: Kim Miller, the owner of Ocean Galleries, describes you as "hard-working and kind, and her grace is felt by all" who meet you. She says she “feels your message" in each piece of art you create. How does that make you feel?
Jane: I am very honored and very thrilled. The art I create is an authentic expression of a moment in my life. My work is authentic and that is one of the most important things in life to me, to be authentic.
Joe: What do you enjoy most about visiting the Jersey Shore, especially around Labor Day?
Jane: First of all, you have the most beautiful beaches, absolutely stunning beaches and water with fun restaurants and fun people. I feel like I am on a summer holiday when I visit. I also enjoy going to the gallery, because I meet so many people from all over the world. It is a family experience. It is me, and I love it.
The “Jane Seymour — California Colorist” exhibition will be at Ocean Galleries from Friday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 1, and will include numerous beachscapes and figurative paintings, many of which were inspired by recent visits to the East Coast. The exhibition is free and open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with all artwork available for acquisition.
Ocean Galleries also has an Avalon location at 2199 Ocean Drive. For seasonal hours at both gallery locations, call 609-368-7777 or see OceanGalleries.com