Jane Baker Bowyer, Mills College Professor 1975-2004, Emerita; Dean of the Mills College School of Education Emerita, 2004-2011, lives in Orinda California. Building on a life-long passion for painting, she has studied in undergraduate and graduate painting and drawing courses at Mills College with Professor Hung Liu, and more recently, with Professor Yulia Pinkusevich. Her main emphasis is in abstract painting but other styles have been explored. Her abstract paintings explore a wide variety of surfaces, media, and textures. She paints on canvas, wood, and paper, and has recently emphasised working with ink, charcoal, graphite, acrylic, and oil. She uses paint brushes and unusual tools such as toothbrushes, cooking basters, and wooden sticks.
Jane’s abstract paintings invite the viewer to interpret the work in terms of their own experiences. Internationally acclaimed poet Channa Bloch stated “ I was drawn by her paintings’ philosophical depth, their searching quality -- the way she used the materials of art to ask hard questions about the meaning of life”. Some have felt the paintings Enter and Exit initiate thoughts about the beginning and ending of life. Several people with a strong musical background feel they can “hear” the music in the painting Jazz. Some viewers of Shrouded Lady see her as walking toward them; some see her as walking way.
Jane states that when she starts a painting she is not sure where it will go, and she is somewhat frightened by the blank canvas. In the end she may or may not consider that the piece was a success. Those that she feels were unsuccessful get repainted or wind up in a closet. The successes are sold or hung on the walls of her home.