Jan Fontecchio



Jan Fontecchio was raised on a horse ranch in the low desert, growing up on horseback. She spent her childhood riding in the wilds of the washes and hills, where her interest in wildlife and western life began. “I’ve done art since my first memory,” she says. “My book covers at school were covered in sketches. A pencil was always in my hand, and if the teacher didn’t grab my tests quickly enough, there might be a little horse drawn in the corner of the paper.”

While earning a degree in fine art, she worked at California wild animal and big cat rescues. Later, while working as a craftsman at Six Flags in Los Angeles, Fontecchio befriended one of the dolphin trainers, who helped her get hired as the trainer’s partner. Every experience added to Fontecchio’s captivation with animals: their form, their thought process, their movement and grace and beauty. Jan’s experiences of ranch life, wild animal care, and dolphin training fostered a love for the action and the atmosphere found in the west; what she terms “the wild life”. These are what she paints, the unpredictable moments and stories of life in the wild.

Fontecchio is a member of the American Plains Artists, Women Artists of the West, Oil Painters of America, and the Out West Artists. When not traveling to art events, Fontecchio resides in Idaho with her husband and posts to her blog, ISpyAnimals.com, where she illustrates and teaches young children about the amazing animals in our world.