Jane Currie Clark, 88, self-taught artist

April 24, 1994|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,Sun Staff Writer

Jane Currie Clark, a self-taught artist in the tradition of Grandma Moses whose paintings came from her memory of her West Baltimore childhood, died April 16 of internal bleeding at the Charlestown Retirement Community, her home for about seven years.

Mrs. Clark, who was 88, began painting after her retirement in 1976 as a sales clerk in the children's clothing department of Hutzler's in Westview, a job she had held since 1963.

In a 1980 interview, she said, "I have so many pictures in my head. There just isn't time to do them all."

But she kept trying until about a year ago, completing a picture of a wedding as a wedding gift for her grandson and then her final picture, which showed Tolchester.

Her works, in acrylic paint on Masonite or on pieces of 1-inch plank, caught on quickly and were sometimes done on commission, including a 1980 snow scene done for an Atlanta art dealer who paid $3,000. Another picture of a Fourth of July parade was sold about the same time by a dealer in Scottsdale, Ariz., for $1,400.

Mrs. Clark's work, which has been exhibited in shows in the United States and abroad, has been reproduced as Christmas cards and in limited edition prints.

Some of her scenes had painted frames around them, decorated with a design derived from the pictures. She also attached poems she wrote to the backs.

The former Jane Currie Anderson was a graduate of Western High School, where she had her only training in art.

As a young woman she worked for USF&G and then married Lloyd Clark, an electrical engineer at an RCA plant in New Jersey where they lived until his job was eliminated by the Depression.

Back in Baltimore, he started a business selling radios and repairing them and installing public address systems. In 1942, he got a job with Westinghouse Electric Corp. Mr. Clark died in 1961.

Other artists in her family included two nieces and a sister.

One of the nieces, Nan Lee Roberts, now of Easton, urged her to start painting, telling her, "Paint like children paint," and gave her a starter kit of painting supplies and equipment.

The other niece, Elizabeth Cotterell, died March 28.

Services for Mrs. Clark were held Wednesday in the chapel at Charlestown.

Survivors include her daughter, Marjorie C. Hetrick of Catonsville, and two grandchildren.

Elizabeth Cotterell


Elizabeth Cotterell, a watercolorist whose floral still lifes were widely exhibited for 10 years before her death, died March 28 of cancer. The Catonsville resident was 72.

Mrs. Cotterell, the former Elizabeth Border, had been an illustrator for Glenn L. Martin Co. and Westinghouse Electric Corp. and had painted in oils before changing to water colors.

Her oils also were exhibited in shows and museums.

A 1939 graduate of Catonsville High School, she also graduated from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Birmingham, Mich.

Services were held March 31 at St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville.

Survivors include her husband, Ryan G. Cotterell; two sons, Thomas Cotterell of Baltimore and John Cotterell of Catonsville; a daughter, Jane Velker of Radnor, Pa.; and three grandchildren.

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