Making Art: Growing up in the small rural town of Chester, New Jersey, Janice had a passion for three things: art, music and wildlife. She tried out nearly every medium she could get her hands on and started exhibiting and selling her work at the age of fourteen. In high school she began winning awards in “Scholastic Art Contests” and received a “Fine Art Scholarship” upon graduation. She enrolled as a Fine Art major at Kutztown State College in Pennsylvania, and was thrilled when one of her first paintings there was accepted into a juried exhibition open to all artists living in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
College Years: While starting out with great enthusiasm, a personal struggle with severe depression and substance abuse interrupted her studies until eventually finding the help she needed. But, like so many who have gained insight and strength through adversity, Janice emerged from this dark time in her life a with improved self-esteem, stronger faith and an increased compassion for others going through crisis. In fact, this experience was largely responsible for her decision to earn a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Arizona years later. In the meantime, Janice supported herself with income from sales of her art, teaching art classes and giving live musical performances solo and with a friend, all while holding down a full time job in a photographic store.
Today: Janice focuses on wildlife art and symbolic still life in oils. She has always welcomed the challenge of rendering fine detail and particularly enjoys working in the style of the Old Masters in which layers of transparent color “glazes”, applied over a detailed monochromatic under-painting, yield rich and luminous colors that seem to bring the subject to life (see examples below).
Jewelry Designs: Janice recently introduced her own line of handcrafted jewelry featuring, as she puts it, “my love of bright colors, fabulous textures, the whimsical, the wild, and all things vintage.” She describes her design style as a “ a marriage of elegance and whimsy”, placing such rustic components as 200 year old African Trade Beads or vintage brass components along side magnificent vintage crystals. Using the same design skills as for her paintings; with attention to color, pattern, texture and balance, she carefully selects each component to support her chosen theme and skillfully combines them into a stunning and unique piece of wearable art.
Inspiration: Janice says she finds her inspiration “in the lush Northeastern forests, gardens and ocean beaches I recall from my youth; the colorful cultures of the American Southwest and subtle beauty of the Arizona-Sonora Desert which I now call home; as well as the many cultures and ecosystems around the globe which I admire from afar.” Lately, she has chosen to focus on familiar surroundings with her current series entitled “Urban Wildlife” (see below).
Current Body of Work: With her current series, entitled “Urban Wildlife”, Janice hopes to bring attention to the diverse wildlife species that share our urban environment and to illustrate her conviction that, “with both admiration for their beauty and appropriate respect for their individual natures, it is entirely possible to live peaceably side by side with these wild creatures, without which our communities would be sadly impoverished.” Several of her paintings recently hung in juried exhibitions in Yuma, Tubac and Tucson Arizona, where she resides.
“Tres Mundos”: Spanish for “Three Worlds”. Janice and her husband , Jesus , grew-up in two different worlds. While she was exploring the wooded farmland of Northern New Jersey on horseback, collecting Breyer Horses and antique bottles, teaching herself the guitar, singing folk songs and turning out a wide assortment of arts & crafts, he was enjoying homemade tortillas, Mariachi music, family fiestas and the ancient cultural heritage of Mexico. But they shared some common threads even then; a love of nature, art, music… and classic American Television! Ultimately, God saw fit to bring these two soul-mates together from opposite ends of a continent to live happily ever after in the warm and whimsical world of art, music and nostalgia!
Today: When not in her studio, Janice enjoys playing guitar and mandolin, singing and writing songs and performing in whimsical costumes with their lively bilingual band, “Alégrate!” (images below). She sums up her life by concluding, “While the road has not always been a smooth one, today I am happy to have a life filled with faith, humor, music and art. Who could ask for more?
Below: Examples of “Photorealism” using “Old Masters” techniques with transparent color glazes.
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