Mixed media collage art is a thrilling pursuit of combining color, texture and numerous methods of marking on a support to create a coherent work of art.
Christian artist Roye Jan Myers states that "There is always a race going on between my paintbrush and thinking it through. I thrive on this excitement every time I paint."
I have witnessed this passion in her prolific output of art over the years. But there is more. This mixed media collage artist has a story that deserves telling.
There is no evidence that this petite, soft-spoken artist has a backbone of steel and bulldog-like tenacity. I've worked with her at Artists' Showplace Gallery, which she and I have co-owned with other talented artists for awhile now. She is usually seen hauling her mixed media collage art canvases, most of which are larger than she is!
She is reluctant to have herself portrayed in any heroic light. I have to admit that I had to pry her story out of her. She is to me a hero, inspiring me with her love for art and her faith. It comes as no surprise that she draws comfort from the following Bible verse:
is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the
test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those
who love him. James 1:12"
In the 1970’s she experienced some numbness and tingling that was troubling. But it was only in 2000 that the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis rocked her world. In those intervening years, she slowly lost much of the hearing in her left ear and experienced all the ongoing puzzling symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
working through the trauma of this diagnosis and coping with its
various symptoms is what sets her apart. She is the first to admit that
she does not do it alone. With a quiet smile she quotes, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13
She vividly described some of the panic associated with the growing recognition of this loss. She recalls repeatedly dropping an object noisily to the floor, wondering each time if she could still hear it.
She says that when she felt most out of control "God was strengthening my faith by teaching me to lean on Him. During all my physical challenges, I never ever doubted that God had a purpose for my life. I went through periods of depression and self-pity. I searched out books and anything I could get my hands on, for insight and inspiration. I had heard about artists with physical disabilities that painted holding a brush in their mouth, or between their toes. I decided that it was time to pick myself up and get on with life.”
And that is what she does with uncommon courage. This mixed media collage artist has enjoyed a career spanning years of teaching art, as well as creating her bold and magnificent work.
She prepares a lot of her own papers stamped with patterns, strong textures and vivid colors in watercolors and acrylic. These are then used with finesse in the mixed media collage art that she creates. Words are delicately etched in graphite and shimmer through layers of paper, metallic foil and juicy acrylic paint.
“I study the way things are, then add, subtract or modify to portray what I want to say about the subject”.
Her mixed media collage art is occasionally muted but more often brilliant. Her work is not insipid or bland. The force of her personality and the strength of her character are immediately apparent. I guess I enjoy most the grand scale of her art, in contrast to its diminutive creator!
I have watched Jan over the years live out her favorite Bible verse "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1Pet 4:10
She does it with such gusto that few who have worked alongside her as long as I have, know her story, or the challenges that face her constantly. They only see her bold work and her sweet smile, and all seems well in her world – which is, of course, not far from the truth!
Check out the work of these other guest artists.