Jane Priser and I have just spent the last one and a half hours on the telephone getting to know each other better as artists and as human beings. Quite a feat for the mysterious and misunderstood Jane, who is terrified to keep a journal and describes writing letters to be “like pulling teeth.” Our goal is to write and publish our chat or artist’s interview on each other's blogs so that we can help promote each other online. I am intrigued by the sweet and loopy Aunt Jane persona that Jane has created to hide her private self and I am honored to be allowed behind the scenes and into the mind of this long time artist, brand new blogger and Etsy store owner.
Fifty-five year old Jane Priser has been an artist all her life and is represented by the Art Market Gallery in Sedona, Arizona. She sells her paintings, knit works and seed bead/semi-precious jewelry on Etsy, the largest online marketplace for handmade arts and crafts. Jane, a self-professed gypsy, has lived in Arizona, New Mexico, Northern California and currently in Grand Junction, Colorado. She has raised two sons, been a fine art student, a studio potter, a sculptor and a member of an artist’s co-operative. Jane’s current work is inspired by Gustav Klimt, Magritte and the Surrealists.
Jane began selling on Etsy in June, 2008 and blogging in July of 2008. She appreciates the simple format of Etsy, its low start-up costs, its ease of use and the feeling of community and information sharing it offers her. Most of her sales have been to baby boomers, like herself, artists she has met through online ‘convo-ing’ (conversing) within the Etsy community.
Jane is a self-professed hippie ‘totally’ influenced and inspired by the basic how-to-live philosophies of the hippie movement that still exist in a few pockets here and there, consisting mainly of artists, musicians, and activists. Jane believes the death of the movement was socially engineered by government forces causing many of her generation to “turn their back on it and laugh.” Jane is very disappointed “to see how things didn’t change… and that mean people and wars” still exist.
Jane has been an anti-war protester and activist since the 1960’s, fighting for wildlife causes, the environment, and for racial and women's rights. She was the founder of a weekly meet-up group for mental health sufferers and has worked as a County mental health board member helping to reform the health care system and create a friendlier outreach program for families and sufferers of mental illness
These days, Jane Priser views herself as a solitary artist, but in reality her spirit flies in close conjunction with the Peace, Love and Freedom Movement created by the hippies of the 1960’s.
This article originally appeared on an old blog of mine (The Maude Blog) in August, 2008.