Janet Stewart Artist Bio
Janet Stewart was born Janet Claire Siberz in America’s heartland, Des Moines, Iowa. She was to see the pacific ocean for the first
time from the Palisades in Santa Monica, CA at the age of twelve. She knew she would never live far from it again. "My mother says I
started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil, and she felt my early attempts showed talent. I grew up knowing I should be an artist"
After high school, her mother, Bert, who is Janet’s biggest fan, saw to it that she was registered as an art major at Immaculate Heart
College in Hollywood. With the opportunity finally there to study art seriously, Janet hadn’t enough confidence in her own ability. While
she knew she "should" be an artist, the belief in her own talent was not there. Janet bought a "how to" book on oil painting and a set of
oil paints and began to paint. When she wasn’t happy with the results, she found a compatible artist to study with, Corinne West
Hartley. "Working with live models, I refined my drawings skills on my favorite subject, people." During this period, Janet went from line
drawing in pencil or ink with little shading or modeling, to colorful Impressionist-style oils. "Corinne taught me the use of clear, vibrant
color and the handling of light, which have become a benchmark of my work."Although Janet has always wanted to draw people and
had little interest in other subjects, she did go through different periods. "Drawing for me was always a release and an escape. I had
my animal period when I discovered that portraying animals was much like doing people, only with more hair. I had a Western period,
and then an African period."Janet had her first one-woman show in 1978 in Pasadena, CA. She began accumulating ribbons and
medals from juried shows. She says her works were most influenced by Corinne Hartley and by the Impressionists: "Degas for his
draftsmanship and anatomy, Gauguin for color and atmosphere, and Sorolla for the handling of light." It was Corinne who helped her
with her ability to portray personality and emotion, the hallmarks of her paintings today.Janet paints people in her own style. That style
has been called "enhanced realism". Her style is not surreal or super-real, but "realism as translated by my vision." The accuracy of her
draftsmanship, coupled with her attention to detail, create a vision exclusive to her art. "It has been said that the best work an artist
does is that done for the sake of doing it. Any other motive can affect the outcome, being a distraction to the creative vision of the artist.""
I never have had the desire to make an angry statement with my art. There is enough unhappiness in the world. I want my paintings to
show happiness and love."