Gallery highlights tile artist and watercolorist

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    Blairstown — Carol House, a tile artist, and Jan Swift, a watercolorist, are artists of the month for August at Gallery 23 in Blairstown. A reception in their honor is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the gallery. Refreshments will be served, and visitors will have an opportunity to meet with the artists for informal discussions about their work. This is a good opportunity to learn more about a particular art form and get to know the artists. Jan Swift is known for her landscapes, still life, architectural settings, and floral paintings. "I just love to paint anything and everything. Watercolor is so exciting, especially when ‘happenings' occur. I don't like to get locked into one thing." A resident of Blairstown, Swift graduated from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia with a bachelor of science degree in art education. She earned a masters degree in education at Temple University and Tyler School of Fine Arts. Swift taught art in New Jersey public schools for 25 years. Now retired, she holds the Governor's award for excellence in teaching, and has published articles in Arts and Activities, a leading art education magazine. Swift has participated in numerous one-woman shows and group shows. She has had award-winning paintings in Warren and Sussex Counties and in Pennsylvania. Her painting of a farm scene appeared on the cover of Warren County Magazine. In addition to her original paintings, limited edition prints by Swift, of Blair Academy, High St. in Hope, and Main St. in Blairstown, are available at the gallery. Carol House comes from three generations of women artists, and has always enjoyed creating art and doing crafts. As an art major in college, she experimented with different mediums. After studying Chinese watercolor on both the west and east coasts, she started a business painting tiles. For many years, she sold tile trivets at juried craft shows along the east coast. House also designs custom tiles for kitchens and fireplaces, working with clients to match wallpaper, colors and even china patterns. "I enjoy the kiln firing process, which to me involves all the basic elements of earth, air, water and fire. I love the meditation of painting and the silence of my brushstrokes. It is a surrender of sorts, when I place a piece in the kiln after perhaps hours of painting and creating the piece. The kiln becomes that mystery element when the heat transforms the water-soluble glaze and painted colors into a different form, which can be permanent for centuries." Gallery 23, an artist co-op located at 23 Main St. in Blairstown, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call 908-362-6865 or log onto