Jan A. Sullivan’s tiny space, located off the beaten path in a building that used to be a motel in the Village of Oak Creek, does double – or even triple – duty. First and foremost, it’s her studio where she creates colorful pop-art oil paintings. But there’s also a consultation area with nostalgic orange counter stools, a display of her prints, blocks and originals, and a small tattoo studio in the back decorated with framed photos of Jan’s dogs. She’s been in her current location, behind Minami restaurant, since March, but Jan has owned a space in the VOC for four years. She moved to Sedona from Massachusetts 13 years ago.
Jan has been painting since she was a child. She’s been a full-time artist since 2003 and a tattoo artist since 2009. She says she’s always been drawn to pop art. Jan’s gallery is filled with paintings of the chapel at Tlaquepaque, gnarled trees and sugar skulls. But her forte is pet portraits – she’s constantly working on commissions, and she also creates art for various animal organizations. “I never get bored painting animals,” she says. “I look at a photo of an animal, and I automatically see how it would translate as a portrait.”
Jan frequently receives requests to turn her paintings into tattoos, and she says some clients will buy a painting and have it tattooed on their body. “I had so many requests to design tattoos, so I decided to learn to tattoo,” she says. “The transition was easy – I wasn’t intimidated. I already worked with strong outlines, and, for me, there’s no difference between canvas and skin.”
The VOC gallery isn’t Jan’s only location. She recently opened a space in Jerome (where she lives), and she regularly paints at Verde Valley wineries. She spends a lot of time traveling to art shows, tattoo conventions and street fairs, too. She also has experience as a professional photographer, and then there’s the work she does designing logos, ads and T-shirts. It’s no wonder her gallery is open by appointment only. “I’ve even done parties and painting classes in the studio,” she says. “I want this to be a warm, welcoming space – a place I would want to come to with my friends.” – Erika Ayn Finch. Photo by Jan A. Sullivan.
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