Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Janet Fish Paintings - Our Art Gets Better with AGE!

One of my favorite artists, Janet Fish (born 1938), said this:

"I had this attitude that it was going to take time for my work to grow.  I had to develop skills to do what I wanted and I didn’t really expect it was going to happen rapidly – a lot of people come out of art school with a nice slick image but not much of their own personality in it.  They don’t have the time to work the ideas through."

Ahhh... one of the wonderful things about being 50!  Our art gets better with age!  Rejoice, people!  This is something to celebrate!
This is one of her paintings, Tropical Still Life.  Lovely, lovely.  Her work is quite realistic, and always saturated with bright color.

I remember the first time I saw her work, way back in, maybe 1994?  We lived near a small town of about 40,000 - Quincy, Illinois.  She had an exhibit there in the little tiny art gallery of our town.  I had my boys in the gallery's summer classes, and we just popped in. I think she probably had ten or 15 works in the exhibition, and they maxed out that little building!  Her paintings were all quite large.  One work in particular was a field of flowers with children's windmills stuck amidst the flowers, spinning gaily.  It was huge, too, maybe 5'x7'.  The festival of color and movement just blew me away, and I've been a fan ever since.

I've got a big book of hers, one of my FAVORITES, which I show to my students all the time.  When they moan, 'Mrs. Johnson, there's nothing to draw,' I'm not feeling sorry for them.  I inform them with happy frisson that there's ALWAYS something to draw, and show them one of Janet's paintings of plastic-wrapped fruit or a lineup of salad dressing bottles! 

Check out http://www.amazon.com/Janet-Fish-Paintings-Vincent-Katz/dp/0810932989 to view her book, Janet Fish Paintings. Buy yourself a Christmas present. You'll be glad you did.


  1. Janet's resourcefulness is inspiring. Love the leaf image you have for your banner.

  2. Thank you! I did the leaf in bright colors, as usual. Just can't seem to work those neutrals into my pics. So much color, so little time!

  3. I have been searching for a particular painting/print for the past few years (in vain). You seem to be well versed with Janet Fish and I am hoping you can help me. In the mid 90s I was working at a H.S. and was interpreting for an art class. The text book had a pix of Janet Fish with 2 children sitting around a table and a beautiful arrangement of flowers in the center. I've never forgotten it. So lovely, so vivid. Now I'm obsessed with finding at least a pix of it, just to see it again. I'm hoping you can at least lead me in a direction other than a google search with general terms. I thank you for any sort of info.
    Sincerely, Karen

  4. Karen - I can't get to your blog, so will have to reply here. Yes, her pictures do sear themselves into your memory, don't they? They're so vivid and colorful, and for me at least often bring back memories. If I were you I'd see about purchasing the book I mentioned above. I'm not sure if it's in there (was it a picnic scene?) but even if it's not, you will LOVE this book. Or, have you tried contacting her or at least a representative? Hmmm.. I need to think on this one.