Artist’s Statement 2014
Artists have the right—and maybe the obligation, because they have the platform—to make a social/political statement about the world they live in. Many artists and art scholars put their lives in danger doing this.
As a special gift to me, my husband, Robert, launched an award to rescue ten artists in countries where there is revolution or political unrest leading to the suppression of artistic freedom. It is called The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts* (more info), and I look forward to helping bring oppressed artists and scholars to free countries where they can do their work in peace and safety.
The direction of my painting has also changed this year. I realized that, for my part in this, I want to highlight ecological damage being done by all of us to our planet—to our beautiful trees, rivers, and vegetation. My show is thus entitled:
Much is being done, but not enough.
People ask about my inspiration, and I am greatly influenced by living on Long Island Sound, where many subjects lie within a mile of my home—beautiful old trees, crystal blue water, elegant grasses, birds, and great storms. I see a painting in everything—spring green leaves against bright blue skies, or misty trees that fade to blue-gray. The BEAUTY of the world is my inspiration.
If words could say everything, there would be no need for painters. Painting is EXPRESSION, making visible my emotion, sharing that emotion without words—only paint. The sensibility and mood in my work are expressed via COLOR RELATIONSHIPS either sharply contrasting or close in hue. I put color next to color and hope you can see them sing together.
GESTURE is an important expressive element in my paintings. Strong and bold lines create movement and direction. I use very wide brushes that almost glide by themselves. Squeegees and spatulas add even more freedom to the painting process. In my abstract pieces PURE PAINTING takes over—the materials and brush strokes become the form and content. I love this.
To create you must open your brain to access all you have learned and seen, then let it flow to your hands. Unencumbered, it will do all the work if you let go totally:
I become the water.
I become the trees.
I become the birds and reeds.
I become the green against purple.
I become the yellow against pink.
It is—exhilarating! But I don’t need to tell you. My paintings already do.
*Administered by the Institute of International Education (www.iie.org)
Visit my portfolios on the 2015 Exhibition, 2014 Exhibition, and 2013 Exhibition pages.
Take a behind-the-scenes peek at the 2013 hanging of the paintings at Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier.
View the Video Profile of Jan by French magazine Nec Plus Ultra
See the online Press Release with details about the
2014 exhibition at Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier