FEATURED ARTIST – JANET NELSON
I love color. I love how color looks next to another color. Many of my paintings start out covering the canvas with brush strokes looking at what color complements each other. Using a limited palette, I mix almost all my colors and seldom use paint straight from the tube. That way, I create “my color” and not a manufactured one that is mixed to the point of not being able to see the small intricacies of the individual pigments. My style had evolved through observation and changes in my environment, but I have learned not to take myself too seriously as a result. I paint what I feel as I know that each piece that is created ends up qualifying the one before, and becomes a recognizable style. While not formally schooled in art at traditional education institutions, I have learned through workshops, reading, online classes and of course—trial and error. I hope my work will bring a smile to your face. I grew up on a dairy farm in southeast Wisconsin, one of nine siblings. Hula skirts were made from unraveled baling twine, dolls of hollyhock blossoms and buds, paper-mache Halloween masks using outdated Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel newspaper, and Snoopy statues made out of snow instead of snowmen. A kindergarten crayon drawing of living in the Candyland board game, showing fingers on hands, was the first of many artworks from school that ended up taped to the kitchen wall. That practice continued through high school.
As life, marriage and children happened, I took art training when and where possible. A few art classes were available at the community college I attended in Cloquet Minnesota, taught by an Ojibwa Indian. Then photography and printmaking classes at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Living just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin, I took advantage of graphic and industrial design courses at the local technical college. It was there that the struggle to “do your own thing” clashed with a market so focused on the Packers. Moving to the east coast gave me the opportunity to take classes at the Delaware Art Museum with Al Staszesky, who was mentored by regional artist, Ed Loper Sr. Both had been students at the Barnes Foundation. Painting the color you see, and making sure that a color relates to the color next to it are the only rules that Al would emphasize. He would ignore pleas for more structured guidance as there was always an exception to a rule and that is pretty much the
way I look at art now. I have been honored to receive awards through Arts Unlimited as well as exhibited at the Neville Museum in Green Bay; awards in acrylics as well as purchased awards from the Susan K. Black Foundation in Dubois, WY; and the Pine Shores Art Association in New Jersey. Most recently, I received an Honorable Mention Award at the Mary Hoard Art Show in the Spring of 2018 at the Hoard Museum as well as the Inman Creativity Award at the state Wisconsin Regional Arts Program this summer. My work is in the Jack Richeson, Jim Parkman and Raymond Kinstler collections.