Janis D.

Edit of My Story

I have been involved with some form of art or craft for most of my life. My grandmother brought me into her process of making quilts when I was about 6 or 7.   As a young woman she was a hat maker who saved her earnings to buy a piano. I suspect I inherited her creative genes. As a teen I began to paint and I was interested in fashion design. Mid-life I enrolled in the Interior Design/Interior Architecture Program at UC, Berkeley, SF, where I became enthralled with surface design. Returning to my much loved Cape Cod,  I taught myself to sew quilts and tohand carve soft block, a relief printing process, similar to linoleum block, which lead to learning numerous forms of printmaking such as shibori, solar printing and screen printing, especially on fabric.  In deconstructed screen printing, I learned from the master, Kerr Grabowski. For a detailed explanation of DSP and Botanical Printing check out these links:

http://www.kerrgrabowski.com/dsp.htm

https://wendyfe.wordpress.com/tutorial-leaf-monoprinting-by-cassandra-tondro/

My first series, Let Them Be Left, was the result of responding to my first art call to do 3 Cohesive Pieces.  I used only commercial fabric and was primarily concerned with achieving just that, and so composition and theme were the main concerns.  I sought out a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins for inspiration: “What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet, long live the weeds and the wildness yet.”

Faithful to the subject of nature, Au Natural, my second series is predominantly a combination of digital photography and solar printed fabrics.  My third, All’s One Under The Sun uses much the same techniques except that now deconstructed screen prints have entered the picture. It is concerned with the relationship of the human hand and the hand of God, metaphorically speaking.  And, Ellipse, the fourth series, moved primarily into deconstructed screen prints with painted fabric.  Although Ellipse the series revolves around one of nature’s most fundamental shapes, these also became increasingly abstract.  I’ve recently added botanical printing now to my repertoire and I’m currently working on a Family Stories series that’s more of a personal project.  This is my path. Although you might see music, and spirituality as themes in my work, the most predominant subject is nature. I love it, love being out in it and love photographing and depicting it in art. I care passionately about preserving it. 

Presently, I am returning to my original roots that began at fifteen years of age to explore my own internal feelings in an abstract, visual language.  Since photography, paint and printmaking have dominated my interest for quite a few years now, some combination of these mediums are the most developed tools of expressing my own visual language in my current art work.