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My art travelling by painting a meeting with Jan Dilenschneider

Early in this spring 2015 I found myself being invited for lunch at Jan and Bob Dilenschneider’s mansion in Darien, Connecticut. Before experiencing the famous Maine Lobster, Jan drove me to her ‘Atelier’ as she revealed to me that she ‘inherited’ her passion for painting from her mother, Betty Ellen Hennessey.


Jan Dielenschneider Atelier in Darien, Connecticut, USA. Photography by  : Frédéric Ducout

Jan is a painter, a real artist. As I observe her paintings, one thing comes to my mind, this Matisse observation: ‘Fauve painting is not everything, but it is the foundation of everything’. I like the way she plays with colors, the energy she puts on her paintings, she is a ‘noisy’ painter when she is at work and that fascinates me… she is definitively an artist who paints for the Peace of Mankind! I can feel a total harmony when I watch her painting…


If the Fauves in their work from 1804 through 1908 pioneered a sense of the new through their assertive application of saturated color, I recall one critic’s suggestion that their painting represented a ‘pot of paint… thrown in the face of public’, but it also paid homage to the tradition of French painting, particularly Impressionism and the later efforts of the second half of the nineteenth century.


The garden  with a view in Darien, Connecticut, USA  at Jan & Bob Dilenscneider’s mansion. Photography by : Frédéric Ducout

In the landscapes painted by Jan Dilenschneider she injects a distinctly modern vision into her imagery… she goes beyond nature and Impressionism, she recreates an universe where you feel tempted to go. After all don’t we all need color as a happy spa therapy to make our daily life more comfortable?

In this age of increasing identification of art as a commodity, Jan Dilenschneider’s paintings remain just as fascinating…

After the sumptuous lunch, time for coffee under the snow coming tempest in the ‘Gloriette’ facing the river… was that also part of the painter’s tricks to keep me ‘living’ her art?!!

As she has just been appointed (September 15, 2015) to Connecticut Arts Council I can only encourage this generous woman to keep creating: ‘The artists in Connecticut make a tremendous contribution to this country and the world, so it is an honor to serve on the Connecticut Arts Council that showcases these artists, poets, filmmakers and musicians’.

Maybe I do need a rest; jetlag ‘oblige’!



Where did I stay in New York? At ‘The University Club’, of course… a few meters away from Moma’s hall… did you say ‘coincidence’?

Mario de Castro

Editor-at-Large, writes reports all over the world for iconic magazines mostly dedicated to lifestyle, design, decoration and premium hospitality. Mario contributes regularly to AD magazines, he heads the TAP magazine and regularly contributes to SOON magazine.