Bold, bright scenes of island life are the hallmark of Jan Farara’s exuberant paintings, which can be found in hotels, restaurants, rental villas and private homes across Antigua. The English artist has lived here for almost 50 years, and continues to find inspiration in the glorious sunshine, colour-charged landscapes and charismatic people that define the Caribbean.
Jan Farara first came to the region in 1970, on a sailing yacht. “I was born an artist,” she explains. “As soon as I could pick up a pencil I’d start drawing people.” She studied fine and commercial art in London, then set off for the south of France where she worked as a cook. Before becoming a full-time artist in 2005, she ran restaurants and painted murals in Antigua.
Now in her seventies, Jan Farara has a home and loft studio in Buckleys, in the centre of the island, where she lives with David, her husband, and two pets, a West Highland Terrier called Teddy and two cats called Shadow and Pickles.
The artist works in acrylics, using a blank credit card and her fingers to move the paint around the canvas. She only paints one piece at a time, and most of her art is the result of commissions, often to fit a particular location. “A homeowner might say “we’d like some hummingbirds, and the wall is this size…”” Farara explains. Using digital photographs for research, she then embarks on a creative journey that invariably results in a vivid and at times enormous work that can truly set a room alight.
Jan Farara’s paintings can be found in villas for rent in Antigua, such as Pelican Ridge, a luxurious and contemporary six-bedroom property with a huge pool overlooking Willoughby Bay. Prints and original works are available through Fine Art America.
Final image © The Coconut Times, all others © Jan Farara