Janet Wright Reed – Featured Artist

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Janet Weight Reed: Featured Artist

Watercolor/Watercolour, Oil

Home: UK

Website: http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

Email: jcrhumming@hotmail.com

Blog: http://www.jcrhumming.wordpress.com

While scrolling through my twitter feed, I kept running into these delightful splashes of color.  These images would flit between my tweets in the same way hummingbirds hover for an instant then zip off for some unknown adventure.

I explored further and found that these watercolors were the creation of Janet Weight Reed who was gracious enough to allow an interview for my “Featured Artist” column.

What were your first memories of wanting to be an artist?

 My first memory of knowing that I wanted to be an artist was when I was about three years old. At that time my grandmother showed me a sketchbook belonging to my Aunt….which I can visualize to this day. Born in London at the end of WW2, my first impressions of London were of a war battered, drab and grey city.  Even at such a tender age, my Aunt’s colorful sketch book inspired me to want to be an artist and to love and appreciate color.

The other resounding memory and inspiration from that time were the pavement artists in front of the National Museum in London.  Their world seemed to be filled with color and light….a world I wanted to be part of.

That you can still visualize something you saw at the age of three is amazing.  Color caught your attention then and seems to be important in all your work since….your watercolors as well as your illustrations for children’s books.

Regardless of subject matter, observation is key to my life and work.   Nature plays a huge part in my life and is a constant source of inspiration.   I look for the drama in a subject, and tend to see the world as if I was looking into a kaleidoscope of shapes, color, lights and darks.

What type of education or discipline helped you hone your skills?

When I was sixteen I won a scholarship to The Medway College of Arts in Kent…(now part of the University of the Creative Arts)   However, I believe it is the years of consistent dedication and desire to ‘marry technical prowess with the intangible’ that makes the artist. I have enjoyed quite a few wonderful mentors in my life and career. There have been times when I thought I couldn’t continue for one reason or another, and it always seemed that one of my mentors were there to catch me, and encourage me to keep moving forward.

Your website and blog is filled with a variety of work, but it appears you have been enchanted by the hummingbird?       

I saw my first hummingbird in the mountains of North Carolina in 1968 – Since then I have used hummingbirds as symbolic imagery in large oil paintings and of course watercolors. The hummingbird symbolizes, for me, the ‘unseen magic’ in the world.

I love how you seem to use the viewer’s perspective to fill in the movement….having us catching glimpses as we would out in nature.

P1170355

My goal was to capture a gentle, soft, moment in time with this watercolor ‘Hummingbirds with Flowers.’

single hummer

In this watercolor I hope to convey the flight of the hummingbird and again the essence of a moment in time.

20-11-15 - 1 (27)

This watercolor/gouache image is more vigorous, attempting to capture the movement and total integration into the natural world of this amazing little creature.

You said you had many mentors along the way.  What are suggestions you have to others who want to make their living (or their life) as an artist.

Don’t compare yourself to others, only to yourself. Be as creative in the way you make a living, as you are in your artwork.  i.e. During my own career, I have exhibited widely, given workshops, talks, and during the middle of my career, between 1987 and 1993 – Painted large commissioned murals for corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.  I believe that using social media offers all sorts of opportunities, but again, this can only happen if it is used consistently and persistently.

I really like that phrase “consistently and persistently.”

Unless someone is independently wealthy, and I am not……be realistic and accept that life as an artist will most likely be filled with the ‘feast or famine’ syndrome.  Don’t be too precious…..meaning, sometimes we all have to do work that we don’t necessarily want to do…..however, I see it all as part of an artist’s journey and is often an opportunity to hone one’s technical skills.

Wise counsel, indeed.  Thank you, Janet, for being willing to take the time for the interview.  I hope my readers will take some extra time and go through your website and blog.  I found the exploration inspiring.

 

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27 thoughts on “Janet Wright Reed – Featured Artist

  1. janetweightreed10 February 24, 2016 / 8:08 am

    Hi Bobbie – Thank you so much. I enjoyed your format very much and am delighted to be part of your ‘Featured Artist’ column.
    I will share. Janet:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary February 24, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Delighted to read your interview, Janet is one of my favorite artists.

    Like

  3. teagan geneviene February 24, 2016 / 9:28 am

    This is a lovely interview. I treasure every glimpse of Janet’s work. I enjoyed getting to know her better through your interview. Mega hugs!

    Like

    • bobbibowwoman February 24, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Thanks for the hugs, Teagan! I spent some time on her website and blog just getting inspired.

      Like

  4. Tish Farrell February 24, 2016 / 9:34 am

    This is a lovely interview – thank you, Bobbie and Janet 🙂

    Like

  5. Carol Balawyder February 24, 2016 / 11:15 am

    I loved everything about this post and especially what you wrote:
    Don’t be too precious…..meaning, sometimes we all have to do work that we don’t necessarily want to do…..however, I see it all as part of an artist’s journey and is often an opportunity to hone one’s technical skills. 🙂

    Like

  6. Robert February 24, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    Bobbi…….Love this article. The hummers were amazing.

    Like

  7. olganm February 26, 2016 / 1:11 am

    Great to read more about Janet. A wonderful artist whose work is as full of magic as her hummingbirds

    Like

  8. Bette A. Stevens February 26, 2016 / 8:20 am

    A wonderful interview Janet & Bobbi. And the way Janet captures those glorious hummingbirds in flight always amazes me! 🙂

    Like

  9. Vera Komnig February 26, 2016 / 8:48 am

    I love Janet and here work and I enjoyed it very much to read this nice interview. Thank you therefor.
    Vera

    Like

  10. Jet Eliot February 29, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Wonderful interview Bobbi. I am familiar with Janet via wordpress, and have enjoyed her paintings and words — you did a good job of highlighting her uniqueness, skill, and wisdom.

    Like

    • bobbibowwoman February 29, 2016 / 1:53 pm

      Thank you, Jet. I’ve always loved humming birds and find hers have such life painted in them.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. davidjrogersftw February 29, 2016 / 5:11 pm

    Bobbie, I enjoyed your interview with Janet. She has such a sense of optimism and joy in her work and a true artist’s commitment to doing as well as she can, which is indeed beautifully. Janet has achieved so much, but she’s still modest, and that’s important.

    Like

    • bobbibowwoman March 1, 2016 / 1:01 pm

      Thank you, David. I think the joy comes out in her paintings. I agree that modesty is important as well…along with being willing to share what she has learned along the way.

      Like

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