Jan Freeman Long was born in southern California where she spent the first half of her childhood. Her family then moved to a small coastal town in southern Oregon when she was ten. Their home had a trail to the beach at the end of the front yard, and this was the beginning of Jan's lifelong love of nature. She spent her time walking along beaches, alongside or swimming in local rivers, and hiking through forests.
It was during this time she began to understand that life as it unfolds in the natural world resides solely in the moment, unfettered by the human intervention of measured time, and she became deeply wed to the notion of ageless and ever-changing cycles. Witnessing this seamless interdependence was her grand introduction to the paradox of being mortal within a web of life that exists in an enduring, timeless way.
While growing up Jan was also fascinated by the vastness of the night skies as well as aerial photographs of the remains of indigenous architecture. How to make sense of countless enigmas not only on earth but far beyond... this kind of questioning and wondering was an ongoing obsession.
Years later Jan realized how the imprint of these experiences was the defining influence in her work as an artist. While studying Painting at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in the mid-1990s she was quickly attracted to working with abstraction. It offered her an open-ended vocabulary with which to look beyond the obvious, thus entering a sense of the unknown. It was her way into exploring the internal landscapes of being human while residing in both measured time and what is timeless. Her visual form of poetic expression began to develop.
Jan's final semester at CCA was spent in Florence, Italy at Studio Art Centers International. She took many side trips going as far north as Lucca, east to Venice, and south to Rome, as well as day trips to places throughout Tuscany. Early in her stay a new obsession emerged: the beauty and endurance of countless ancient buildings and ruins and how they aged. She shot over 60 rolls of film of peeling surfaces, doorways, windows, and piazzas. This immersive experience continues to inform much of her work. In 1996 she earned a BFA in Painting - with Distinction - and has since maintained a dedicated studio practice.
While in the studio Jan is most at home when measured time is left behind and she enters into oceanic time. The freedom of following her intuition is paramount to her process. She also relies on the wisdom she gleans from nature's ongoing patterns and cycles. From this state of mind she embarks on her continuing exploration of what is timeless, mysterious, universal, and enduring.