Jan Gauthier is a native of California and a graduate of San Francisco State University. Gauthier looks to her immediate surroundings in the environs of West Marin County for her subject matter, primarily still life and landscape imagery. She achieves a unique atmosphere in her work by hand painting traditional gelatin silver prints with oil based pigments and wax, imbuing the black and white images with warm umber and sienna tones and adding subtle texture to the surface. Through this unique process, Gauthier captures more than a still life or a landscape, but an atmospheric mood that is unique to her body of work.
In her more recent work, Gauthier has turned her focus on a synthesis of traditional sepia and color toned imagery combined with digital technology. The archival pigment prints at the recent Bolinas Museum exhibit heighten our memory and awareness of landscape. The sepia images serve to remind us that in our time, landscape can evoke both memory and urgency for the fragility of these vanishing vistas. Like a vaporous vision, these images dwell somewhere between our conscious and subconscious layers and serve to inform us of both our inner and outer worlds.
Gauthier was the first female graduate of the photojournalism department at San Francisco State University and she is the first female recipient of the Greg Robinson Scholarship for photography. Additionally, she was the artist in residence at the Morris Graves Foundation in Northern California for Fall 2003 and Spring 2004. She has had a one-person exhibition at The Triton Museum of Art and she will be having one-person exhibition at the Bolinas Museum in 2007 of her landscape images.
In 2008, she had a one-person show at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Northern California and will be exhibiting the images she created during her time at the Morris Graves residency. Her sepia photographs were done while she lived and worked in his studio. She was able to use materials from his workspace, bottles and objects that he had used in his floral paintings, and flowers and plants from the surrounding gardens. She has begun to break her photographs into a grid with fragmented images that have a disquieting beauty to them. There is an air of discovery and calm to this work as well as a tension created by the fragmentation. A quiet juxtaposition of science, nature, and the land we live in.
Gauthier shares a studio and home in Marin County with her husband, artist, John McCormick.