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Jean Settle (1940-2012) | A lifetime's legacy

Jean Settle, born in Vernon, B.C., was truly a self-taught artist, expressing her emotional response to the natural world, from evocative and moody limited-palette renditions of ghost-towns, to dramatic, semi-abstract portraits of horses.

Jean painted this watercolour series, The Twelve Goddesses, within a few months of intense and concentrated creativity, in the late 1990s. However the evolution or genesis for them matured over a much longer time period.


Her artistic style had been developing since she began painting in the 1960s, from stylized acrylic ‘pointillistic’, through bold and moody oils, into vibrant, impressionistic masses of intense watercolours and evocatively, spiritual, limited palette portraits of humans, animals, landscapes and crumbling structures.


Inspired from her research into the history and mythos regarding the impact of the horse on the development of human civilization, Jean noticed how the near-mystical status of the horse often seemed intermingled with the abiding power of the Sacred Feminine.


This mystic, allegorical link she perceived as existing between the horse as crucial to the development of civilization, and the perennial, timeless silent potency of the Sacred Feminine, inspired her artistic vision, and the resulting masterpieces, The Twelve Goddesses.


The series will draw the observer into a wordless, timeless legend. The deliberately anonymous character evokes at once a feeling of familiarity and of esoteric, mystical energy that radiates beyond the painting’s margins, breaking free from the restraining boundary of the picture frame.