Janis Anton

(510) 269-6843

Artist Statement

I see with my little eye.

I have been trained to see with intent and focus. I isolate and reconnect line, shape, color, space, and light. This ravenous trained seeing never stops; it is my spirit’s breath. The constant seeing is so seamlessly embedded in my psyche that it feels like play.

I began to draw and paint what I saw and then stretched the vision toward what I felt. I played with pigment, fire, ink, wax, clay, graphite, chalk, and found objects - always straining toward fluency in visual language. That wild dance with media was a delight but it is watercolor that challenges me and holds me in place. I feel a little shiver as pigment lingers atop the water’s surface tension. I love color washes in layers of transparent color fields that seamlessly shift to darker shades or tertiary colors. I love the constraints of watercolor, the accountability of color choices.

My subject matters lies at the place my interior life and grounded experience intersect. This is where the desire of the heart resides. I paint improbable gardens, lush and always in bloom. The tangled botany is the context of a narrative that moves toward an ever shifting horizon line. The naturalism of the paintings can shift the context to purely abstract imagery that echoes an ekphrastic map of myth and story. The question of space is paramount, both as a compositional and a narrative issue that frames and animates the emotional environment. There are the pink and blue tinted skies where birds in flight find their way to freedom; while darker star patterned pieces often create a sense of closing in or falling sky that crashes downward. The scenes below are remnants of past events or snippets of a nearly forgotten dreamscape.

Family stories, dreams, the things in a peripheral sight line - phone pictures and smeared Polaroid's, are all fodder to be investigated, culled, and woven into compositions. The paintings themselves are visual episodes that resonate in a brightness of the pallet, the undulating line, and fanciful details.

Above all, the work strives toward beauty.