Artist’s Statement – Janice Marie Alexander
As a professional visual artist, my goal is to create artwork that reflects the experiences, emotions, passions, beliefs, and social views that I hold. An artist should have something to say that is expressed through their artwork; something that moves the viewer emotionally and even soulfully. That is what my artwork does. The experiences that life has taught me come from hardship, many years of work, motherhood, extensive travels, blissful love, devastation, loneliness and an education that culminated in a master’s degree from Liberty University. My paintings of different ethnic people show intense emotion in their eyes that stare intently at the viewer as if they are looking right into their very souls. They are silently speaking to the viewer. My seascape and abstract paintings bring feelings of serenity and satisfaction to the viewer with their harmonious colors and smooth surfaces. The oil colors that I choose tell a story of passionate expressiveness or calm harmony, sometimes clashing in background and subject. In my portraits that all come from my imagination one madly swirling, saturated color is juxtaposed with another calm, cool color that is flatly and smoothly immersed into the canvas. The colors in one painting shout with passion or they blend harmoniously in another. The color schemes vary widely. The brush, palate knife and my fingers all play a part in the creation of artwork that tells the viewer that the artist is speaking to them in a way that is uniquely personal.
When you look at a Vermeer, you see poetry on canvas. You see a deliberation that leads the eye to a focal point that he has chosen, and you see brilliance with light that is unmatched. You see what the artist is looking at in everyday life rendered spectacularly on canvas. With my artwork, everything comes from my imagination. All of my faces are uniquely created as I paint and nothing about the subject or environment is copied onto the canvas. I draw upon feelings, emotions, past experiences and prayerful spiritual guidance to create my artwork. The focus is not on the subject in the paintings but on the viewer. The subjects in my paintings are almost always staring intently at the viewer and as you look into their eyes you will see the empathy in them connecting to your very soul. They have come from the spiritual realm to abide on the walls of those they connect with.
Please know that in my paintings I do not use toxic stains to prime the canvas, harsh solvents when thinning paints, varnishes over the paintings or toxic chemicals. I use costly linseed oil, poppy oil and quality unscented mineral spirits instead of turpentine or other cheap, harsh and toxic solvents to thin my paints and this gives the colors a brilliant and permanent brightness and shine. My paints are not edible, but they are much safer than many types of paints. I do not need to go outside at any stage of crafting my paintings because the air that my sons and I breathe is safe. I care about my family, my customers and the environment very much. This way the paintings can dwell in your homes or offices with you and your family and not release toxins into the air that you breathe over time.
I primarily paint on canvas with unfinished edges. My edges are unfinished because the paints from the artwork on the edges of the canvas tell a story. You can see what colors I began and ended with and how complex or how simple the color scheme is based on the amount of fingerprints and brush strokes of different colors there are on the edges. Because my paints are very low in toxins, those paints are ALL over my hands when I am painting. I get so involved in the experience of painting and creating texture within the paintings that my hands often touch the paint and that paint transfers on to the sides of the canvas. Many of my backgrounds are created with my hands rather than a paintbrush. I love sliding across the canvas with my fingers, swirling as I go, because it gives me a much more personal experience with the paintings and in the end I feel as though each imaginary portrait that I create is a person that I know who is silently speaking to my heart.