A Canvas of Energy – Jancy Pettit
Jancy Pettit’s Energy Art
Chi is what it is called in China. In India it is called prana; Japan, ki. God, spirit or source is what Jancy Pettit calls it. The “it” is the flow of spiritual energy and it serves as the canvas or foundation of Jancy’s Energy Art.
The unique form of art is based on a spontaneous movements derived from Tai Chi and Oigong. Jancy engages her body in various martial arts energy movements while she is creating art; this results in art charged with energy, thus the term Energy Art.
Jancy’s Energy Art extends beyond the canvas. ArtLight is a performance piece which combines Energy Art with music exploring how the vibrations of different colors and images affect art and the experience. Dancers are costumed in large flowing dresses and placed in front of projection screens. Swirling movement in light formed from bright, circular images creates a visceral world invoking imagination. The shadows created by the dancers allow the viewers to enjoy the juxtaposition of bright paint and the void of color. ArtLight was a 2018 TEDxTopeka Talk (video below).
Our bodies are full of wisdom which is beyond the spoken word. This wisdom can reveal itself in many ways, but my particular method of tapping into and sharing wisdom is through artmaking, spontaneous movement and sound.
Jancy’s Energy Art is comparatively new; in the late 1980s she was a member of the Collective Art Gallery, where she planted her roots in Topeka’s art scene. She has been committed to it ever since. But it wasn’t until early 2000 that she began her journey to Energy Art.
Twenty years ago Jancy was introduced to qigong, an ancient Chinese health system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. As she explored the process, she relaxed into the notion that her body was moving itself with the energy rather than her direction. She took out her Conté crayons and a big pad of paper, her qigong energy began to draw.
“Soul Expressions Coloring Book” (available at JancyPettit.com) is an adult coloring book that introduces people to Energy Art while giving the art-making process a broader platform. Jancy’s Energy Art also supports our local art scene via organizations like ArtsConnect, and events such as Works of Heart a benefit for Family Service & Guidance Center (where she now works). Jancy’s art was coveted as was the desire for her teachings.
Today, Energy Art has expanded from drawings into color and various mediums like printmaking, collage and clay. “I found that every art medium I tried could be approached in the same way,” said Jancy.
“I felt as if I was creating in collaboration with spirit while the juicy energy of creativity was running through me. The biggest challenge I faced was staying out of my own way. I found if I kept my mind out of the process, the results were much more satisfying.”
Jancy encourages us to observe artwork created in this modality two ways. First, to observe what the piece looks like visually. Then, to take a moment to feel inside ourselves to notice any subtly differences. Everyone experiences art differently, but all art impacts, connects and energizes. “Art and experiences to move your soul.”
Jancy Pettit // Chuck’s Grid | Acrylic & Graphite on Canvas | 36 x 42