It is the rich colors of her work, the fine attention to detail and evocative images of a moment captured from another time that has made artist Jean Colquhoun an enduring name among collectors of her work.
As an Early American painter, Ms. Colquhoun has spent more than thirty years working on wood, canvas, and now old paper, putting into these a slice of life from this era of schooners and shipping, community and country.
Her simple, yet detailed have garnered her collectors from across the country, some of whom are now second generation - their parents are the owners of some of her earliest work. Look closely at some of these paintings and note these minute figures, their expressions, and detail - from the smoke writhing up from a farmer's pipe to the apple-red cheeks on children sledding down a hill.
For years, Ms. Colquhoun worked on wood and later, canvas. But for the past five yars, she has begun working with another medium - old paper long forgotten for a century or more and finding a new life as inspiration for her collection, Past Due.
"After many years of painting and decorating antiques and reproductions, I found that I have been collecting through the years something I thought would create a unique collection, so Past Due was born," she said. "Seeing an antique document or billhead with the writing of our ancestors creates an inspiring idea for a painting. I feel we become closer to our past reading and seeing a painting bringing to life our beginnings."
Along with her original pieces, Ms. Colquhoun has illustrated two books, Christmas in Water Village and Angel Baskets. That book, a children's story about the Shakers, earned the prestigious silver medal from the Small Press Association in recogition of the book's design and illustration.
For Christmas 1988, she captured a Christmas scene on the cover of a cookie tin issued nationwide by Pepperidge Farm. She has also designed a varied line of fine gift bags.
Ms. Colquhoun began painting as a hobby when her three children were small and quicfkly drew a loyal following of collectors.
She lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and between brush strokes, she enjoys traveling to the small towns of northern New England, seeking scenes and inspiration for her unique glimpses of a moment in another time.