Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Artist PlayDate: Spend Some Time With a Phenomenal Artist Whose Work Is A Celebration of the Magic In All of Us

Janet Davies was one of the first people I met when I joined this arts/crafts online world. Despite the fact that we were speaking through an electronic medium, I had the distinct impression that I was standing in warm sunlight. That's what Janet does as a person and in her work, she selflessly lets all of her warmth, joy, love and tremendous imagination shine upon you. It is one of the most striking gifts I've ever received. Janet's work is an invitation to enjoy all that is good in this world as each piece she creates is overflowing with joy. When I read her words or view a new work, I feel as though my imagination has been given a passport to explore and there is no greater freedom.

Recently, I had a chance to talk with Janet about imagination, creation and battling gremlins. Janet's words reminded me of the important job we all have in exploring inner landscapes. I'm so thrilled to present a piece written by Janet as well as some of her incredible work.

"I’ve always been a creative of some kind or another," Janet begins. "As a small child I was in constant communion with animals, trees, rocks, water, all of the elements really. I always lived in a world that was so much larger and more vibrant than the one we can experience with just our five senses. There were fairies in the forest that came to have acorn tea parties and I had long silent conversations with all my animal friends. I had a mad love for beauty from the time I was very young. My early elementary teachers pulled my mother aside to show her my gigantic, vibrant suns that clearly existed beyond the page. I would love to recapture and share that world now.

As an adult, creating jewelry, fiber pieces, painting, and even cooking and gardening allow me to explore that rich world, it’s there that I am most comfortable, more at home. I enjoy opening up to possibility, in fact I think it’s the job of the artist to bring possibilities to light. Surely these inner worlds exist somewhere or we wouldn’t “see” them so clearly. As artists we are given the responsibility to explore the invisible landscapes of who we really are, as individuals and as a species.

Bringing these innermost parts of ourselves to life can be really scary! I often see here on the TST artists that begin to make something for the weekly inspiration, they have a well thought out plan firmly seated in their comfort zone. Then for some reason it falls through and they take a risk maybe by trying a new medium or being spontaneous. I think it’s here that we find our best stuff, right on the edge of the desire for exploration and our fear. Here we find something out about ourselves, we do something that scares us a little, post it for the entire world to see and are paid well in the courage we find and the feedback from a community that has longed to see what’s really there. Like the Wizard hiding behind the curtain I automatically go to the medium where I am most confident, but I am able to find a real sense of accomplishment and self-acceptance when I expose my self in the place where I am least comfortable. I find it’s like a navigation tool guiding me to authenticity rather than to stay where it’s most comfortable where habit and repetition can easily take over.

Some of the insecurities that I face are that people will think I’m NUTS! I hear the gremlins in my head say, “Aaaaaack, Look at that! What makes Janet think she should put those colors together?!!? NOBODY does that!” Eventually I find that it matters little what the gremlins say and often the things I think are goobers, someone else likes. Go figure. Sometimes I like the pieces myself eventually. This happened recently with a painting I did in my mixed media class. I decided I really didn’t like the painting at all and I pushed it to the far recesses of some closet until, that is, a fellow student asked to buy it. The piece had spoken to her! Suddenly the painting was dear to me and I had to keep it. It may eventually end up in the hands of my friend but for now, it serves a reminder of who I really am."

To view more of Janet's work, please visit Janet's shops.
Second Etsy shop: http://lilacwoman.etsy.com/

Thank you so much for sharing with everyone, Janet. Your exquisite work and incredible heart are an inspiration ...keep creating and creating and creating!


Jenjen © GottaLoveMom said...

Hi Janet,

I love what you do with the colors and how your artwork tells a lot of story.

Art is so subjective - we all see things in a different way; so is life - I guess that's why Life is Art (so cliche but so true).

You don't have anything to be insecure about anything. We sometimes do feel a little insecurity just because we aim to please the world.

Your artwork just grows on me. The more I look at it, the better the story goes.

I'm so glad to have witnessed your talent.

Keep doing that amazing thing that you do!

DeeCee said...

Janet, you wake up the inner person in all of us with your inner site.
Thank you for sharing.

Natasha said...

Jenjen - I love the way you see her work as a story...so do I! Janet I second Jenjen..keep doing it...it's amazing!

Dee - so great to see you here...and I could not have said it better myself!

lisianblue said...

Something that seems to pop up here and there - insecurities, fear, what if "they" think.......what will they think?
and it is so wonderful when we can let all of that go (as much as possible) and just create what we love, and then the "scarey" part - sharing it.......
It is soooooooooo inspiring, to be able to come here ,to listen, to see other people's art, their thoughts, feelings and to know that it's a warm and caring place to be.
Stories - oh yes there are some stories in those paintings! I want to enlarge the flower one - I "know" there is a fairy or elf in there somewhere - they were my playmates too, especially when the cherry tree bloomed!
and the girl - the flowers, the mountain - I just love it!
and I still have to create something for this weeks theme! hehe - guess I'd better get busy!

Frenzy23 said...

I think the best thing to do is try as hard as we can to freak out those gremlins. :) When we do something crazy, out of our comfort zone, something we're afraid to do, it's always more interesting, often much improved. Whether good or bad, it's a new discovery.
It's interesting how she writes, it reflects her work. I can see her inner worlds and acorn tea parties visually through her work. Her talent shines through with all mediums.

Marja said...


Thank you for sharing your innermost parts and the rich world you live in. You are an inspiration! :) I especially describing your fear & insecurities as Gremlins - I have plenty of those little buggers (don't we all?) hanging around, but calling them out as Gremlins is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

Mics AKA Lunatiger said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing your wonderful creations with us. It's always nice to get to know more artists. ^_^

Natasha said...

lisianblue - it is truly inspring to hear the stories, see the work and feel ..well, a part of something...I LOVE that you expect a fairy to be among the leaves of the flower...that's what Janet's work inspires and that is what I LOVE...can't wait to see your TST piece..woohoo

Frenzy23 - I LOVE freakin' out gremlins...hehehe...I'm SOOO in agreement with you....her talent shines through on all mediums!

Oh Marja - I agree with all you said...Janet is a tremendous inspiration...her work, her writing, even her gremlins inspire me

Mics AKA Lunatiger - so great to see you...and I love that you met a new artist here in Janet's piece...that's awesome

Carolee said...

Love the second pic!

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lilacwoman said...

It's been an incredible gift to be part of Natasha's vision here on TST. You are all so wonderful to offer your support and inspiration.
I'm delighted to find other folks who hold fairy tea parties and I LOVE the idea of freakin' out the gremlins! Geez, it's not they haven't spent enough time freakin' me out. ;0)

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...


Wonderful work! :-)

"invisible landscapes of who we really are" - Love this phrase! It so sums up what you are mapping when you create. :-)

Yup, you truly never know what will call to people. I've had that w/my jewelry over the years. Pieces I don't care for as much fly off the table, while what I consider the best pieces hang around forever. (Hmmm... wonder if there's a connection there? :-P Many of them do end up in my personal collection. :-D)

I love your colors and your combinations!!! :-) Sombrero Girl In Space reminds me of Rowena's Flying Girl. Both ladies are willing to step out & explore beyond what they already know. :-) Such a beautiful sense of daring. :-)

Bright Blessings & Good Fortune! :-)

Amanda (Blake) Fall said...

"I think it’s here that we find our best stuff, right on the edge of the desire for exploration and our fear."--this is sooo true. I love using TST as a way to challenge myself to step out of that box. Invariably, my work grows and evolves because of it. I've changed so much since the beginning of TST!

Thanks for sharing these wonderful thoughts with us.

aquamaureen said...

Janet--your words speak for so many of us, it seems . . . I felt an irresistible calling to push away from safe harbors, early in January . . . which is just about the time my dear daughter (Amanda/Persistent Green) told me about TST and I leapt into the fun. Every week my feeling of connection here grows--with the prompts, with the postings, the comments, and the "extra" stuff Natasha treats us with, like this interview with you. Thank you so much for being a voice urging us all on our individual journeys.