Seymour of Jane’s Work: Renowned Actress/Artist Highlights Another Ocean Galleries Season
By David J. Spatz
The Artist in Her English Garden by Jane Seymour 2019
In her other life as a gifted artist who works in a variety of mediums – from watercolors to sculpting to even creating artsy home goods – Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Jane Seymour has become enamored with the Jersey Shore over the past 15 years, particularly the Seven Mile Beach.
Not only do the vistas here remind her of her home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, Calif. – where she jokingly admits the sun rises and sets on the wrong side compared to New Jersey – but she’s also learned something about the Jersey Shore that we locals have known forever: You can make some decent money with a summertime gig.
And that includes everyone from teenagers landing their first jobs to world-class artists whose works are on display and for sale at Ocean Galleries on Third Avenue in Stone Harbor, which each summer presents a series of shows by everyone from newly emerging stars in the art world to those who have been “headliners” for years.
During her first appearance in Stone Harbor in 2006, Seymour – who will close out the gallery’s summer series when she visits Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 – learned that visiting artists to the island can be inspired to create a beautiful work and sell it literally before the paint dries.
“Something caught my eye looking out at the beach,” she told the Seven Mile Times during a chat from her California home. “It was something beautiful, and so I got out my [watercolors] and I painted it. It sold [at Ocean Galleries] the next day. I love it down there.”
Pacific Grove by Jane Seymour 2019
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We’ve still got about seven weeks before Seymour closes the 2019 summer series at Ocean Galleries with her three-day exhibition of a show she calls the “California Colorist.”
For now, Ocean Galleries owners Josh and Kim Miller are knee-deep in the series of summer exhibitions in their Third Avenue store.
In June, they presented one show that’s always been popular with the gallery’s clients, “The Cat Behind the Hat – The Art of Dr. Seuss.” That show was followed by the debut of British artist Mackenzie Thorpe and his exhibition, “30 Years of Love.”
“We try and do something for everybody, that’s for sure,” Kim Miller says as she pauses to discuss the summer season at the gallery and the artists whose works will cover practically every square inch of wall space, and every piece on display will be for sale.
“Different styles, impressionistic styles, the collectability of [different artists], there’s a lot of different things going on,” Miller adds, an unmistakable note of pride in her voice.
While the Millers always try to introduce new artists to their ever-changing clientele and demographics, they do have a few house favorites. Ocean Galleries clients and the Millers can’t seem to get enough of the iconic and legendary pop artist Peter Max.
Good to be Home by Stephen Harlan 2019
However, Max’s show at Ocean Galleries, which would have focused on art he created at Woodstock 50 years ago, was postponed after his wife, Mary, died in June. The gallery says Max, who has been to the gallery so many times he should have his own permanent wall, is hoping to reschedule the show that had previously been set for July 5-7.
Meanwhile, digital artist Stephen Harlan has created his own unique style of digital artwork in a world moving quickly into the future not just on a daily basis, but sometimes hourly.
Harlan, whose works have been deeply influenced by his love of the sea, will be at Ocean Galleries July 19-21 meeting guests, clients and just the curious who randomly wander in off the streets.
The receptions with the artists, Miller says, lets the people in the gallery meet and speak with the artist, ask questions about a piece they’re considering buying, and learn what inspired the artist to create a particular work of art. Sometimes, a few words in private with the artist can help move a valuable piece out the door.
There’s Just Something by Stephen Harlan 2019
“Everything is for sale, and in the art of Dr. Seuss [in June], there was a lot of ‘secret art,’ which is the art that Dr. Seuss used to do in his off time, during his evening hours when he sometimes drew until midnight,” Miller adds. “So there were some things that appealed to the adult clientele that comes in because they can appreciate it because it’s kind of whimsy and fun. Those pieces were all available, and people were only able to acquire them at the show. Once the show leaves, those pieces that are so sought after simply aren’t available anymore.”
The works of the late Dr. Seuss – better known to his family and the IRS as Theodor Seuss Geisel – have a childlike look and appeal to children and adults. But the prices some of Dr. Seuss’ works command are anything but childlike.
“You think that a child would like a piece [of Seuss art] for their room because it comes from a childlike artist,” Miller says. “But these pieces are very highly collectible, and they can get up to $25,000 to $35,000 for sold-out editions. So it’s a serious collectors market also, and we get a lot of serious collectors in for Dr. Seuss.”
Romantic Red Roses by Jane Seymour 2019
Because the Dr. Seuss show was called “The Cat Behind the Hat,” the gallery also used the show to team up with the Cape May County Animal Shelter to help raise awareness and a few bucks for the organization.
“They brought some animals around, we did a silent auction and an auction with some prints that we have from the artists,” Miller says. “So it was a cool couple of weeks with all of that whimsied type of art. It was something a little bit different for everyone. I’m sure it’ll be a child favorite also.”
And for as many times as she’s shown her works at Ocean Galleries, Jane Seymour can’t seem to get enough of the Jersey Shore. She mentions that while the Pacific and Atlantic oceans pretty much look the same – big bodies of water stretching beyond the horizon – it’s the difference in beaches that separates the East and West coasts.
“I love looking at the rocks on the [West Coast] beaches. But then you’ve got those long, white sandy beaches that seem to go on forever, and I enjoy that, too,” Seymour says.
Seymour was actually late making a scheduled phone call to a nosy reporter from South Jersey because she lost track of time while walking on the beach in front of her home, watching humpback whales and pods of dolphin frolicking just beyond the waves.
Anticipation by Jane Seymour 2019
Seymour, 67, didn’t start painting until later in her life as a way of dealing with heartbreak and anger over a broken marriage and other personal trials that had threatened to derail a successful acting career.
What began as a way of using painting to heal her emotional wounds gradually became a second career for Seymour, whose acting roles range from the 1973 James Bond film “Live and Let Die” (she played Solitaire) to the role for which she’s best known and which put her on acting’s A-list: the TV series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” which ran from 1993-98 and earned her an Emmy Award.
Seymour has found a way to embrace and succeed in two distinctly different art forms: painting and acting.
“It’s all about being creative,” she says. “When you do a play or you do a film, you’re very much in the moment. There are people who are writing it or directing it or producing it, whether or not they want you, whether they think you’re right [for the part] or not, there’s a million different things.
“But if you create a piece of art, I do it very much for me, it’s 100 percent my inspiration, my idea, my physical action. It’s all very personal, much more personal than anything else that I do, because by the time my creation of a character is seen by the public, it’s been manipulated, it’s been edited, there’s a lot that goes into it. But with a piece of art, it’s just me and a piece of canvas and a brush and nobody else.”
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