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Check out Janell James’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janell James.

Janell, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I began my professional career as an artist 13 years ago pursuing my studies in Classical Realism through the Bay Area Artists Atelier in San Carlos, CA and then at Studio Escalier in Paris, France. I feel having a strong foundation is key to any success and a jumping off point for more expansive creative expressions. In 2009, I opened my studio doors to my first solo art exhibition, creating pop up shows for my work open to the public. Selling 19 paintings during the opening, I realized that being a professional artist was possible. Eventually registering my business as an LLC, I have found that being an artist entrepreneur is very rewarding and requires the wearing of many hats to create a successful career. Realizing it can take up to 20 years to be a fully established artist, being halfway there, I still have much work ahead of me and many goals inspiring me to continue to live this dream, continuing to find innovative ways to express myself.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Currently, I am painting on multi-paneled acrylic glass to achieve work that is 3D, kinetic, sculptural, and singular in look and approach. This process is something I came up with three years ago, taking the old traditions of layering and glazing paint from classical realism, separating these layers onto both sides of five panes of clear acrylic to achieve a contemporary, modern look. Initially painting portraits of trees, I realized this creative process has room for more exploration as I begin to reimagine abstract expressionism, impressionism and portraiture work.

What I find most interesting about this layering process is the ways in which the paint plays with the light casting shadows on separate layers. The experience of looking into this work from a distance is also quite different from the more surreal, abstract experience you may observe up close.

Initially inspired by nature, my abstract and portraiture work is also grounded in this fundamental continuing to open me up to new ideas throughout my creative evolution as an artist. This evolution is what inspires me. There is always room for growth as an artist and really no limit to what an artist can create. All that is required is a leap of faith…taking that first step in water slightly deeper than what you were comfortable with just the day before. Always pushing the limits and boundaries of my own potential is what keeps me coming back for more and I hope through my own work and creative process others are also inspired to create beyond their imagined limits.

How can artists connect with other artists?
Keep it interesting for yourself. Be involved in your local art community; however, you can and become friends with your co-creators. Great ideas and energy come from community inspiration and collaboration. Curate exhibitions with other artists, apply to exhibitions, to museums and fairs to meet new people and continue growing your career.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I am represented by Chloe Gallery in San Francisco, CA, Rare Gallery in Jackson, WY, Creighton Block Gallery in Big Sky, MT, Trove Gallery in Park City, UT, and Terakedis Fine Art in Billings, MT. I will be attending one of the largest western art fairs, the Out West Art Show and Sale in Great Falls, MT in March, for my fourth year. I will also have a painting exhibited and auctioned at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT in March. Visiting any of these exceptional galleries throughout the year, The Out West Art Show and Sale, or the C. M. Russell Museum in March would be a wonderful way to see my work. Viewing this 3D work up close and personal is the best way to understand and experience these works on multi-panel acrylic glass. Buying art from these galleries, art fairs and auctions supports all artists’ careers along with keeping gallery doors and diverse events open to the public in the future. I also sell available work directly through my own gallery in Salt Lake City, UT, ONE Modern Art.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Artist John Bell

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jeffrey D. Anderson

    March 12, 2019 at 6:07 pm


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