Janice Marie Alexander “Panny” was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was an only child. Janice Marie learned the profound impact that the written word can have on a person from a young age and used writing poetry and plays as a way to express herself. She was awarded Best Speech Student Ever at Brusly High School for writing, directing, choreographing and playing lead actress in the play Let’s Go Steady that the school made a nice profit from by charging the community for tickets to see the play. It was not until she entered college at 17 that she fell in love with art where she studied art history, sculpture, painting, ceramics and photography. She found that photography and painting was what she wanted to concentrate on full-time and so she proceeded to take as many classes as she could in the visual arts. She had also studied English and theater and acted in plays for Louisiana State University and the Baton Rouge Little Theater. When Janice moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota later, she was awarded Best Art Student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and has her artwork permanently displayed in Coffman Union there. Janice later graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies for Art, English and Communications and went on to receive her master’s degree from Liberty University. Janice also lived in San Diego while working as a professional photographer and won three awards at the California State Fair for her photography work – 2nd place overall and two honorable mentions. During her time at Louisiana State University (the first college that she went to) Janice also became a nationally published photographer by winning a national contest in Photographer’s Forum Magazine.
Janice has always focused on portraiture in photography with an emphasis on tight and unique compositions filling the frame with her subjects. In her artwork, all of her subjects come from her imagination. She envisions a face and a background with compatible or electrifying colors and crafts her paintings with enthusiasm to see the final outcome of the persons that she has created, knowing that they do not exist in real life and that they are uniquely her own. Whether photography or painting – her subjects are almost always staring deeply and intently into the eyes of the viewer as if knowing their inner secrets. She feels that the connection between the subjects in her paintings and the viewer is always found in the eyes as they gaze upon one another. She has an expressionist style and uses both the paintbrush and her fingers and hands, moving the paint around to create vibrancy and movement in the subjects and the backgrounds of her paintings. What inspires her most in creating paintings is taking a blank canvas and watching it come alive layer by layer until it shouts or whispers back at her. She is excited about the next phase of her career as an artist because she plans on creating compositions with a looser and more fluid style, totally changing directions in an effort to enhance the experience of painting and to see what this new direction will reveal in her paintings. She loves showing the beauty of diversity in many of her paintings and brings awareness to society that diversity should be embraced with an open heart.
Janice Marie started her passion for cooking in her grandmother, Ruby Currie’s kitchen, in her mid-teens. There she learned the basics of how to cook many Cajun dishes such as jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, steak rice and gravy, green pea and cheddar cheese salad and shrimp Creole, which later in her adulthood led to the publication of her book: Frugal Feasts – Sumptuous Savings for the Pickiest Palates. This book incorporated some of these original versions of Cajun dishes as well as many, many original recipes that Janice developed over a 25 year period of cooking for guests and her sons. In her grandmother’s yard as a teenager, Janice had access to many pecan trees, pear trees, fig trees and blackberry vines. Much of the fruit and berries found in her grandmother’s yard were used to make pecan pies, pear and fig preserves and blackberry cobbler. There were also various berries that were used to make wine with her grandparents. The Currie household utilized the land efficiently and her grandfather, William C. Currie, Jr. raised chickens and planted gardens upon his retirement from the state highway department. This was where Janice began a long healing process from all the sad years of her childhood and early adolescence. Her grandmother Ruby Agnes Dupuy Currie gave Janice all of the love and understanding that she needed and her grandfather William C. Currie, Jr. never stopped Janice from having fun with her friends. The doors were always open at the Currie home. Janice also had a great relationship with her father’s mother Dolores Cronan Alexander. She had so much love and attention from her grandparents that she began to achieve many things in high-school and in the community.
During her teenage years at her grandmother’s home Janice won numerous beauty contests such as Miss West Baton Rouge and Miss Sugar Queen and at sixteen she won first in talent nationally for the Miss Teenage U.S.A. contest and also second runner up. At that time, Janice Marie was also named Best Speech Student Ever at Brusly High School. Through all of these accomplishments, Janice hoped that her mother and father would congratulate her or that their attention would turn to her. Upon her mother’s return from Germany, Patricia Marie Currie did have a spectacular beauty contest dress made for Janice and the pictures of her wearing that dress are a treasure to Janice still to this day. Janice loved her mother in spite of all the abuse, however; her mother continued to emotionally abuse Janice so Janice severed her relationship with her mother after many attempts to reconcile. Janice still prays for her mother, who is an atheist, in hopes that Christianity will change her mother’s heart.
Janice had married Brian Gerald Vaughn, Sr. from White Castle, Louisiana during the time that she was working in sales and studying at LSU. Janice and Brian stayed married for 6 years and after Janice gave birth to their two sons who are a year apart – Janice and Brian divorced. By the time that she received her bachelor’s degree, Janice had taken over 160 credit hours of courses at the undergraduate level and most of her classes were in art. She had immersed herself in art and taught her sons to paint at an early age. Her son Dane Alexander Vaughn is now an a talented abstract artist and he is also a professional athlete. Many conversations about art and painting sessions take place in the home where she now lives with her two sons in Los Angeles, California. Her oldest son Brian Gerald Vaughn, Jr. is a talented website designer and a partner with Janice in her art business Artistic Angels.
Janice worked for eighteen years in sales and ended her career in the corporate world after enjoying the exciting position of Director of Sales and Marketing for some of the nicest hotels in the country so that she could pursue her career as an artist and author full-time. After working in the corporate world, Janice started selling her artwork and books through her company Artistic Angels Corporation, selling her artwork on eBay, Amazon, Saatchi Worldwide and here on her website. Janice attributes the success of her career, her parenting and the success her sons now enjoy in adulthood to the Christian faith and reading the Bible daily, and by showing her sons through her actions and words that they were not a family missing a father but that the three of them were a complete family that had not been broken by divorce. Lastly, Janice and her sons determination to succeed, in spite of many challenges, has led to their success as a family and to happiness in their careers. Janice feels especially sympathetic to single-mothers that face so many challenges on their own – many times without any child support.
Janice is the published author of two books that are currently selling through Amazon, B&N and also through other retailers: Princess Panny – Not Princess Nobody (a Christian fable for children about overcoming social rejection through the love of Christ) and Frugal Feasts – Sumptuous Savings for the Pickiest Palates. More about these books can be found on this website. Janice continues to work hard as an artist and is currently preparing to work on the two-year art project, Embrace Diversity in America Art Project that will culminate in free art exhibits in Los Angeles. A more detailed understanding of the Embrace Diversity in America Art Project can be found on this website where donations to help Janice complete this exciting project can also be made and are greatly appreciated.
Janice Marie is a Christian and has raised her sons to appreciate all Christian religions as well as other cultures because she believes that the body of Christ is not segmented and that God created and loves ALL people with no room for prejudice, discrimination or judgment, which she passionately expresses through her artwork, photography work, poetry and also next through the Embrace Diversity in America Art Project. She has taught her sons to love and respect persons who are of other religions, different races and different social classes. Janice took in several of her sons friends temporarily while raising her sons because these boys had come out of abusive homes where they were not wanted and needed support while transitioning into other permanent living situations. Most of her sons closest friends today are of different races. Janice is very pleased with her sons choice of friends and for loving others based on who they are rather than the color of their skin or their financial or social status. There is no room for any kind of discrimination or judgment in Janice’s life or her son’s lives. None of them want any part of this poison to society. Janice Marie “Panny’s” artistic works thus far mostly represent people from other races and cultures, which brings awareness to the beauty of diversity and the unity and compassion for one another that we should all feel as a global community.