Film and television viewers know England’s Jane Seymour for her roles in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die,” the smash comedy “Wedding Crashers” or her biggest hit on American television, “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” But Seymour is just as influential on canvas as she is on screens big and small. Her work is peaceful and full of grace; a theme of tranquility and calmness is found in her pieces, which promote a message of natural beauty and hope.
Local residents can judge for themselves—and meet the actress/artist—this Saturday (July 20) at the Wentworth Gallery (6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton, 561/338-0804), where Seymour will be showcasing her artwork from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests will see everything from her prominent watercolor and oil paintings to her original Open Heart materials. Seymour’s son, Sean M. Flynn, also will have his photography presented for viewing at the gallery.
The exhibition is open to the public at no cost, and all art is available for acquisition. Seymour took time out of her busy schedule to speak with Boca Raton about her upcoming visit:
Have you ever been to Boca?
I have, I’ve been there before. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and I’m hoping this time I’ll have a chance to really look around a bit better.
What inspired you to pick up a paintbrush for the first time?
I was a kid, and like all kids who start drawing, I used to love drawing and coloring, and I really only started proper painting about 22 years ago. It was a therapy for me when I was going through a really rough time, and somebody taught me how to do watercolor; I found it very therapeutic. The next thing I knew, I couldn’t stop painting, and then I tried different mediums and I worked with different artists and different styles, and I painted in every medium pretty much: oils, acrylics, I do sculpture, watercolor, watercolor pen and ink, mixed media and pastels.
Can you talk about the specific artwork that you’ll be showcasing at the Wentworth Gallery? What might our readers see when they visit the gallery?
There will be probably about 80 or 90 pieces—everything from watercolor pen and ink to very free, and quite often they get turned into fabrics because of the patterns. I then have oils and a limited edition giclee collection too. Mothers and children on the beach are big themes, and some palate knives are involved there. Then a lot of florals—still-life florals—and then there’s landscapes too. Sculptures too: A very big part of the collection is the original Open Heart material that’s now become the inspiration behind the jewelry collection at Kay Jewelers. Really a bit of everything.
What do you think distinguishes your type of artwork? How would we know it’s a Jane Seymour piece?
Well, I think obviously the Open Heart abstract people would recognize the jewelry in that campaign. I think unlike most artists, I have a number of very distinct styles. So some people collect my watercolor pen and ink, some people really love the big florals, some people love the mothers and children on the beach, it really depends. The interesting thing is there’s usually something for everyone. Sometimes I do just black-and-white pieces. So, I would say if I had to be generalized, I love impressionism and am a colorist.
I see you work with all types of mediums. Which of the disciplines is your favorite medium to work with?
It really depends on the day and the subject matter. I love oils and I love watercolors; I’d say those are up there. Very few people do both. Very few people can really do watercolors and oils, and I feel very comfortable in various mediums.
Are there certain pieces or maybe an entire collection that reflect where you were at a specific period of your life? Can you give us an example?
The interesting thing is that when I was really, really devastated and upset and in despair and I started painting, I painted serenity. And so I tend to paint things that are beautiful and happy and hopeful, and that’s really very much the way I live my life. That’s where the Open Heart comes from. It’s very much what my mother taught me. She said, “When life is tough and you feel that something’s insurmountable, your instinct would be to close up your heart. But if you can open your heart, accept what’s happened, and somehow reach out to help someone else, that love and purpose would come in your life.” And I think that what I’ve done with my art is I process things that I find beautiful and hopeful and magnificent and full of joy and full of love and I put them out there as paintings, and then people respond to them and tell me the emotional responses they get from them. My paintings are emotional. I can’t tell you from one day to the next what I’m going to paint. It’s whatever hits me that day.
Why do you think so many actors and musicians seem to also have a gift for the arts? What’s the connection?
I don’t really know that, but I think it’s that whole “right brain” thing, isn’t it?
“Wedding Crashers” is one of my favorite movies; can we expect to see you in any upcoming film or television work? Any projects on the horizon?
Yes, I just did [the TNT series] “Franklin and Bash,” last week, but if you go online you can see it. I played a great role; I played a sex surrogate who has to end up kissing Heather Locklear. People are still tweeting about that one. It was a wonderful, fun role.
I do a lot of comedy. I’ve got a comedy feature film coming out in August called “Austenland.” That was made by the people who made “Napoleon Dynamite,” the director, and actually his wife, Jerusha Hess, and produced by Stephenie Meyer of “Twilight.” So that’s a really good one. That was at Sundance and got picked up. Then I just did another movie called “The Unknown Heart,” but I’m not sure when that’s coming out. This [NBC TV movie] just came out [on DVD], “Saige Paints the Sky.” It’s a beautiful movie about the relationship between a grandmother and this young girl who had to deal with a lot of change in her life. Obviously it’s geared to young kids, but it’s really well done.
For more information, visit wentworthgallery.com.