December 14, 2007
Friends On Friday Presents Janet Snell!
Self-portrait by Janet Snell
Janet, you mention on one of your sites that you began art with oil
painting in the 70's. What prompted you to take an art class? What were you
into before that? Anything artistic?? What influenced you?
I went to the Maryland Institute College of Art, and studied with the
abstract expressionist Edward Dugmore. He, and the city of Baltimore
inspired me. I have the link to an interview he did for the
Smithsonian on my Scattered Light
blog that will help you to see why. It reflects his iconoclastic
personality. By the way, the photo of Cheryl and me on that blog was
taken by his wife Edie in their New York loft.
You and Cheryl have this phenomenal ability to capture and hold an
audience's attention delicately ( when I am observing both your works I feel
cradled and safe like I'm a baby free to experience whatever it is you both
are sharing--even if its not something nice), was your home life suitable
for encouragement of the arts, or did you both cultivate the love for
expression later in life?
Throughout our childhoods, Cheryl and I painted for fun with our
mother, an excellent realist painter. Our dad did not paint, but he
did write stories with an Edgar Allen Poe feel, and played many
musical instruments. He was even in a Dixieland band with some other
physicians once. He was the one who got me started on the violin. He
was a great influence and inspiration--he had a dark sensibility
balanced with a huge sense of humor. He died at 52, after suffering
with heart disease all of his life.
My sister and her work is another influence.I think in images and she
can extend the metaphor with words, so a collaboration between us is
more like two takes on a similar idea, instead of one art explaining
the other. I send her photos of whatever I'm working on, and if the
idea sparks a response in her, she'll make a poem for it, then send it
back to me for comments. The work on the Admit 2 site happened that
Does your environment inspire you? Please give us a little insight as to how you work and what motivates your visions.
Often, I'll make drawings of images, which may come from musing about
the man/woman thing, or from listening to Hendrix, Dylan, or the
Doors, or from reading Jean Genet, for instance. Those images will
find their way into my linocuts or paintings, sometimes intact,
sometimes altered. Funny, but classical music doesn't bring up actual
images for me, although it does give me ideas.
What are you working on right now that you can share with us?
Right now I'm working on my third volume of art and words. It's
tentatively called "At The Gates", and I've attached the painting of
the title piece for you.
At The Gates by Janet Snell
Can we check in on you from time to time?
I'd love to be checked on! Thanks so much for this opportunity.
More images can be seen here
This has been wonderful! Thanks, Janet!