Jan Clayton Pagratis was originally born in Miami, Florida, but now she calls the southeastern coastal region of Savannah, Georgia home where she often finds her inspiration from the gorgeous sun drenched landscapes. As an emerging artist, she attended the University of Maryland in 1990 to receive her Bachelor of Arts and then received her MFA in 1997 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While often associated with her abstract, colorful landscape series, Jan actually works in a variety of media from encaustic to oil to pastel to even mixed media where she often includes recycled materials into her work. In fact, Jan is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and has been featured in a variety of publications for her oil and pastel pieces. Collectors are snatching up her artwork whenever they can especially after Coastal Arts & Antiques magazine named her a top artist to collect as of 2003 because of her ability to work in a variety of mediums.
Her versatility as an artist has really worked to her advantage as she has been able to learn about one medium and then apply it to the next, to come up with some very interesting pieces. When it comes to encaustic, Jan feels that she can actually draw from her different experiences and gather inspiration. For instance, she often uses oil paint on her wax paintings which is an approach that not many artists would think of doing. Jan also has been known to incorporate mixed media and combines it with bright, brilliant wax colors to design some very unusual paintings with exquisite texture. For many of her encaustic pieces, Jan also uses a variety of different wax paint colors to create eye-catching images of the Southern skies that appeared during Hurricane Dolly, Hurricane Katrina, and Storm Gabrielle. No matter the subject matter, her paintings are sure to draw your attention as they have ours.
Although Jan used to actively submit her earlier artwork to exhibitions, she is reluctant to showcase her current encaustic artwork because at this point in her artistic career, she now leans more towards just working and enjoying the creative process without the stress of exhibiting. However, she has shown her encaustic pieces at her own gallery, the Chroma Gallery in Savannah, Georgia and recently participated in a solo exhibition at the College of Southern Maryland. Furthermore, Jan founded the Chroma Gallery in 2001 with Lori Keith Robinson and it is located in Ellis Square, the heart of historic Savannah. Their gallery represents American contemporary artists specifically working in the southeastern region of the U.S. which both Jan and Lori agreed, that this particular group of artists seemed to be underrepresented in most galleries. Combining their efforts, together, they created a gallery that features artwork ranging from abstract to traditional pieces. In fact, their gallery does a great job at bringing attention to the medium of encaustic painting by displaying several pieces of artwork designed by talented encaustic artists.
Jan uses many of our Enkaustikos Wax Paint colors in her art pieces especially to help capture the intensity of the sky and hurricane images. With her Chroma Gallery, she is also helping bring awareness to encaustic art.