An Artist Studio | With Jan McCarthy

As a creative, one of my favorite things in the world is to step into the creative space of another. I love when an artist shares their space, how they use it, a peek into their favorite tools and even what they are currently working on. I hope you will join me for the brand new An Artist Studio series! Each month a different artist will welcome us into their space!

I hope it will encourage you to cherish your own creating space.  I started on the kitchen table, built our business in an unfinished basement, filmed our first courses in a transformed dinning room, create now in a big space and know that I will find a creative space no matter where we go next. The space you have is perfect if you are showing up and creating in it!

Previous studio tours: Jeanne Oliver , Stephanie Lee , Sheila Atchley,  Diane Reeve and Sandi Hester.

This month we have been welcomed into the studio of Jan McCarthy.

All photos were taken by Christine Harris.














I’m a creator. I make art to autograph moments, the fleeting emotions and undefinable feelings that can only be expressed in imperfect swipes, lines, or ripped pieces of paper. I use my art as a way to connect and share these flashpoints of time that slip away. Every mark I make with a handcrafted brush on one of my canvases, papers or towers, is a unique gesture. I find this process essential as a personal statement, a reclaiming of my point of view, of being a woman, of aging. I’ve never allowed how the world might aim to herd the masses as a reason to follow the pack. I hear the beat of a different drummer. This constant resistance feels vital to me.

I collaborated with fashion designers Eni and Nigma on their Venia Collection, using my art on fabric to highlight the importance of mental health awareness. The collection showed in Paris just before lockdown and was a huge success. To read the interview, click here.

Out of a need to express myself and organize my thoughts, I developed a series of notebooks that speak to the dreamer, the planner, the journaler and the notetaker. It brings me joy to know others find inspiration from these as well.

I love travel and lead creative retreats in various destinations like Joshua Tree or as far away as Marrakech, where I draw deep inspiration from the colored zellige tiles dotting the landscape in Morocco, the vibrant chaos in the medina and the painted majorelle blue buildings…

I live life fully, sometimes on the edge, sometimes in many different places, sometimes quietly, always trying to practice carpe diem.


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  1. Christine Harris

    Wonderful article and video! Jan inspires me to find beauty in everything. I can spend hours in her gorgeous studio, taking in every little detail. An important mentor in my life, I’m lucky to have Jan as a friend.

  2. Carol Haralson

    While I enjoyed seeing Jan’s studio it would have been so much more enjoyable to be able to hear what she had to say…..I find the overlay of the loud, repetitive music not only annoying but highly disrespectful to the artist who you asked to speak and invited you into their studio not be able to clearly communicate with the listeners.

    Please in the future refrain from adding any music and just let the artist, their art and their space SPEAK for themselves.

    Suggest a re-edit of this artist visit and repost without music would nice.

    1. Jeanne Oliver Author

      Carol, this video was created by the artist and we didn’t touch it at all. Each artist submits their own video edited the way they want. The music was chosen and edited by the artist.

    2. Vanessa Prohaska

      My thoughts exactly. Music was too loud and I could hardly hear her, otherwise I really loved the studio and by reading the article, made me curious and frustrated that I couldn’t hear her.

  3. Gina

    What a beautiful studio!, Love her artwork and her handmade brushes. Music in video was very loud and distracting, but appreciated the tour of such a cool place

  4. Bethwyn ferguson

    Wow! So loved the tour n your space is amazing n so organised. Makes me want to do some reorganising of mine. Thank u for sharing. 🇦🇺😷🤗

    1. Minnie

      Just imagine ….thought it was beautiful video. Be grateful she shared this amazing space

  5. Nancy

    Loved this studio tour! Thank you for sharing your creative space. Very inspiring!

  6. Julie Struthers

    Thank you for sharing your studio with us. I enjoyed seeing how you organize your supplies, special chair and artwork. I took your course on Jeanne Oliver’s website and really enjoyed it. Keep creating and inspiring us. My best.

  7. Sandra Powers

    Jan, I very much enjoyed the tour of your lovely studio. It was not just a room that housed your working art supplies, but a special place of your creations and your unique objects of administration. I can see how you have so many areas of inspiration, for you and for others. I love your scarves and other ways you have chosen to display your beautiful works of art.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful, special space, that expresses YOU. 🥰

  8. Ruth

    Loved the tour of your beautiful space and seeing all of your luscious art tools and products.

  9. Ditte Dunge

    Thank you Jan for an inspiring video – I see now what you meant in our good talk before the summer: how many possibilities their are in ART. Thank you. I will come back to you 🥰

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