The original was created using oil on canvas.
Born in Latvia, Jana Brike has been successfully showing her artwork since she was a teenager! Growing up in Latvia, the artist was subjected to a strict and oppressive early life. Her childhood, or lack thereof, is brought to life with child-like freedom and abandon in her paintings.
Brike’s lyrical narratives often focus on the themes of self-discovery, coming of age, self-growth and femininity. Influenced by folklore, mythology and her love of nature, she describes her work as a personal and poetic visual autobiography.
"A lot of my process is like a playful and free-flowing poem…When I paint and make decisions in the actual process, it’s not about the looks I envisioned but the feeling, and atmosphere, which is often formed by subtle unconscious associations, multiple layers of meanings that are both very personal and comprehensive. It’s all according to what feels right at the moment."
~ Jana Brike
Evocative in nature, her works rely heavily on symbolism and generally feature female characters outside in nature. The influence of mythology and fairy tales is immediately evident, and her work mirrors something that at first glance you might think is a children’s book illustration. According to the artist, “Mysticism, magic, and dreams are mixed with ‘real’ life in an inseparable entanglement. It is all a Soulsearching – shifting through your own mysterious depths in search of your truest self and your own replies to life’s most important questions.”
In A Way to the Other Side, two young girls frolic through a colorful flower-covered meadow while innocently holding hands and collecting fluttering blue butterflies. Flanked on either side by what looks like baby unicorns, the figure on the right wears a simple white dress with the word “Maybe” written across her chest. What do you think the artist is expressing here? Maybe the two characters will continue on and explore each other? Themselves? Maybe she is innocent? Maybe not? What symbolism do you see in the painting? What do you think the butterflies and flowers symbolize?
For more information on the artist, visit
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-Johnny DePalma, Owner / Curator
-Janelle Graves, Art Historian / Museum Educator