Skip to main content

Celebrating African American History: Art Exhibit: Jane Williams


Hitch Hike by Jane Williams

Daddy's Baby by Jane Williams

Artist Biography

Henri’s Artist Bio

Jane Henri Williams “Henri” calls her style of watercolor painting “minor abstractions”.  Others have described it as “multifaceted and kinetic”. She applies watercolor as if it was oil paint, placing strong colors and shapes in precise places that seem at once casual and impressionistic until the viewer steps back to see the precision and detail. The shadows and light in Henri’s work seem to change as the light changes.  Something new and different appears at every viewing.  Every piece is unique and original.  She achieves this by using the Japanese Sumi-e paints, praising them for their fluidity and rich pigment.  Her preferred subject is faces, all kinds of faces. She likes them “young or old, thick or thin, gnarled or model perfect.” All capture her interest and spark her creativity.

She works mostly from her own photographs, striving to capture subjects in the mist of a mood, an emotion or a transition. Those fleeting, unguarded moments when we are truly ourselves, Henri sees as our most universal moments. She wants to capture and preserve them in art.

She is a fan of the late artist, Leroy Neiman, admiring the way he uses bright, unmixed colors with high contrasts “I just can’t seem to get enough of his way of capturing atmosphere and movement.”

Henri has numerous showings and honors. She has twice been selected for solo shows at San Mateo’s City Hall, San Mateo’s Main Library Art Gallery, and Foster City Art Gallery. She is a past winner in the Society of Western Artists annual exhibit.

Henri’s work is shown and distributed primarily by the City Art Gallery in San Francisco. She is also an active member of the Society of Western Artists. Jane Henri studied art in San Diego and most recently with Julie Andrews in Foster City. It was with Andrews that she developed her current style.

Jane Henri was born in the Midwest but for some time has made the San Francisco Bay Area her home.  She holds advanced degrees in the social sciences and started her academic career at Stanford University. She has taught sociology and ethnic studies at the College of San Mateo for the last seven years, often drawing on students and fellow professors for subjects and inspiration.  She describes herself as having two passions, education and art.  Both, she believes, require creativity, dedication, experience, and a personal investment in human interaction. 

In the last ten years her watercolor work has expanded. Henri strives to keep her art affordable. Everyone, she believes, deserves the pleasure of having original art in their home and workplace. “It is,” she says, “An unparalleled pleasure.”

She welcomes your comments and questions about her art.     650.342.6795

Art Exhibit

Artist Jane Henri Williams' collection of watercolor paintings will be display at the CSM Library until March 15, 2013.


Join us for a reception for the artist on March 6th from 1:15-2pm at the College of San Mateo Library.  Everyone is welcome!