The artists strive to create a vivid and flowing home through oil paintings depicting corners of Brooklyn. You can often find them painting outside on the streets of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn Heights and Park slope in front of a scene emanating a rich story.
“When we first come to a neighborhood we see it as just a place then it becomes more alive for us,” said Lloyd, who paints buildings in Brooklyn and also moves them to create his own imaginary scenes.
Both studied art and started painting together five years ago. They got married last year and continue living in Brooklyn after more than 25 years.
“Being a married couple painting is an interesting mix,” said Lloyd. “Also [while] being a team and being competitive.”
Their exhibit, “Free Range Brooklyn” will be on view from August 30 to October 24 at Sabay Restaurant in Elmhurst, Queens, which also serves as a free space for artists, created and run by Vernita Nemec.
For the exhibition, the two painted in Brooklyn Heights along the streets leading down to the Promenade from Remsen to Clark, across from Henry Street to Columbia
Heights, also including areas of Park Slope.
Lloyd is heavily influenced by architecture and the stories that it brings. Since it takes him about three to four days to paint a building, it slows down the process and allows him to get closer with his subject.
“During that time you get to know this area that exists on the street with all the people that live there, ” he said.
Whenever the two set up outside, residents approach them to tell stories about their neighborhood. “People want to come and say ‘I know who grew up in that house’ or ‘I used to go to school over there,’” said Lloyd.
Showing their work in Queens as opposed to Brooklyn may be counter-intuitive but not for the couple, who seek new avenues of exploration.
“I would be fascinated to find the commonalities,” said Talcott. “People relate to the sense of place whether they’ve been there or not.”
Instead of going to regular art galleries both wanted to find ways to exhibit within the neighborhoods so that it may be accessible to everyone. These days they show in Brooklyn coffee shops like Crossroads Café. “It’s a different way to share our art with the world,” said Lloyd. “Artists want to be part of the world, but you’re never sure how to do that.”
Before painting outside they worked in their studio for a long time, removed from the community. But now, instead of painting from the view of a window, they roam in the open with a limitless sky.
Free Range Brooklyn really took off when they ventured out to the parks. Both painted there for a number of years then moved to neighborhoods nearby then further out to different parts of Brooklyn. “Now our curiosity is ‘what would it be like to visit another borough?’” said Lloyd, who can already imagine the stories of Queens.
“People come from all over the world and begin a new life there,” he said. “It’s all unpredictable no one knows what they’re getting into.”
Working outdoors is new for Talcott. When she found herself thinking about going hiking, she added gardens to her painting routine and that became her space.
Talcott’s love for gardens can be traced back to her roots in Connecticut, where she was raised. Usually drawn to landscape rather than urban structures, she gravitates to certain colors and shapes. “I see these intensely-colored flowers and they draw me in,” she said.
The balance between urban and nature, for Talcott, is a balance that exists in the imagination and at the center of composition.
Both Lloyd and Talcott paint in a representational style. An illustration of what they see mixed with the stories they hear.
When viewing their work, one can expect to see different creations of the same scene.
Often someone will say Talcott’s paintings make them feel relaxed while her husbands’ make them feel nervous, she said.
Although they each have their own style, some see similarities. But Talcott noted, the similarities “come and go,” into a fluid rhythm. “I feel like we are constantly merging and separating at various points.”
For more info on Jane Talcott and John Lloyd visit, http://www.janejohnstudio.com
"Free Range" on exhibit from August 30 to October 24 at Sabay Restaurant & Curatorial Space 75-19 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373