Jan ter Weele was born in the Netherlands, and now has a studio in Portland, Maine. He was a refugee from occupied Holland. He still speaks Dutch and makes trips annually to visit his friends there. He studied at Maine College of Art, Massachusetts College of Art, Honolulu Academy of Art, and twice at the Art Students League of New York. He holds a BA degree from Princeton University, and MAT and Ed.D. degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He graduated cum laude from Pomfret School. He painted for many years as a Sunday artist until it became an obsession, at which point he resigned from his job as an educator to paint full-time, which was 25 years ago. He has painted the landscape outdoors for many years. His influences are Van Gogh, the Fauves, the abstract expressionists, and the Dutch CoBra artists, especially Cornielle and Jaap Nanninga. His paintings are in private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. His paintings have been in many solo shows, juried shows, as well as invitational shows throughout Maine, as well as in Chicago.
“Painting, for me, is about color and shape. My approach is improvisational. My landscape paintings are interpretations of real places. Over the years I have made a series of paintings about a small number of places which preoccupy me. In recent years I have been disassembling the imagery of these places. Now they have become abstract. My abstract paintings reflect the colors and patterns of the landscape. When I start a painting I do not know where it will take me. When I finally resolve it, I discover what drove me to do it in the first place. I think the sources of painting, and of art generally, are unknown to us. They flow ultimately from the mystic law. All I know is, I just keep painting.”