Janet Jacobs Profile Photo

Janet Jacobs

San Anselmo, CA

I’m exploring light and space in my work. I like looking at deep space in the landscape, particularly through trees and foliage. I am interested in the area of deep space you can see behind and through trees. I notice how light is held in the canopy of trees and the areas between the trunks. My eyes track the movement of light into a community of trees and through their leaves. My art reflects how I see. I start with the lightest areas, laying in paint for spaces before I paint trees and foliage. I locate the trees by painting the spaces around them. Compositional thinking sits underneath everything I paint. I am aware of line, movement, and color, and how elements overlap. I appreciate the beauty of pure paint, and I like playing with abstraction within a piece. I think about transparent paint vs. opaque, near color or far, and the use of expressive marks. When I paint bits of light on leaves, the paint itself becomes those flickers of light moving through the field. The formal issues of composition come in to play in my work at the same time as I explore light and space. All aspects of life show up for me in the landscape. I see birth and death, the passage of time, kindness and truth, and beauty. Nature is where I find answers for the world’s problems. It’s where I slow down and return to home base. For me, the process of painting echoes the process of discovery, and faith in the land. Art helps me move through the trials of life. Both art and nature show me myself.

Janet Jacobs is a San Francisco Bay Area artist and art teacher. She received her BFA in Drawing and Printmaking from the California College of the Arts and an MFA in Sculpture and Painting from Mills College.

At Mills College she was one of two main teachers for the artist Jay Defeo, and took over some of her Drawing and Painting classes. This is where the challenge and delight of teaching became important to Janet. After returning to school for a Teaching Credential, she taught at Bay Area high schools, including the Urban School of San Francisco, where she was also Chair of the Art Department. She now teaches small groups and private students at art centers and in her studio in San Anselmo, CA.

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