Artist Maureen D Janssens - AIC Interview

Artist Maureen D Janssens is an abstract expressive, Canadian artist, creating bold, beautiful floral art, landscape paintings, prairie art and desert scene paintings. When asked what inspires her, she said, “I gather my inspiration from what Nature provides. I get lost in the beauty of whatever is before me, always have and always will. Southern Alberta has fantastic light and it lends itself to expressive paintings. I see the huge Alberta skies and cannot wait to paint the magnificent colours that explode each and every day.”

“Spirit of Nature is about finding your inner peace and balance amidst the chaotic vibration of ego.”
~Maureen D Janssens

Question:
When did you realize you had the need to create and develop your skills?
Answer:
I think I came into the world knowing this acting on it though took some time.

Question:
Right now, what is your medium of choice and what is your favourite subject matter?
Answer:
I am very prolific, therefore, acrylic is my choice. I can attain the heights of colour that I love to play with and I prefer working with landscapes, trees, water and mountains. The aspect of nature or the spirit within nature is what moves me.

Question:
All artists at all stages of their career want to try something new, what other medium or subject matter do you see yourself experimenting with?
Answer:
I think that I will experiment with watercolour as well as photography. Using photography as well to insert some painting techniques into the canvas that I will have re-produced from my work. I enjoy being out in nature and catching that particular shot what will never repeat itself again.

Question:
Continuing education, do you partake and if so what did you learn?
Answer:
Continuing education for me is experimentation. It is all about taking the risks and allowing your inner nature and spirit to drive you into creating something only you can do. My personality lends itself to this type of education or learned experiences. I feel that sometimes when learning to much structure your freedom in inhibited. Of course this is just me and it leads me always to new pastures.

Question:
Have you ever taught a class or done an artist talk? If so, what did you talk about or teach? Can people sign up for your workshops and how?
Answer:
I have not taught anyone in respect to art and this is my first artist talk and I am excited. As artists the crucial part of getting known is the most difficult! Art is so personal it is part of who we are on a soul level, so sometimes it is difficult to understand how people will approach your work, but in the end if we do not let ourselves be known we will drift away and I don't want to drift away. I love what I do and I love to share my experiences in art with people and am always excited when someone expresses exactly how they feel about my work! At a art show in Vancouver a patron of the arts approached me and said "you have lived an abundant life, full of colour and vibrancy". And this is true!

Question:
Have you ever painted en plein air? What was the biggest hurdle for you? Environmental challenges, wildlife, people, weather?
Answer:
Yes I have painted en plein air and I love it! Being right there firsthand experiencing nature and putting it onto canvas is a huge thrill for me. I live outdoors if I can and do not want to miss any sunset or sunrise. I love how the wind moves the trees and tall grasses and the clouds are forever dancing and changing. Wind is a challenge as it has tossed my tools in many directions but it does not stop my entrepreneurial spirit.

Question:
Do you do commissions? If so, what is your process?
Answer:
I have done commissions, but I prefer not to. I would rather someone be spellbound by one of my works that I have created. I paint from a source that is all within so painting from someone else's perspective is difficult for me.

Question:
What is your favourite art related quote?
Answer:
Spirit of Nature is about finding your inner peace and balance amidst the chaotic vibration of ego. Maureen D Janssens

Question:
Where do you gather your inspiration from?
Answer:
I gather my inspiration from what Nature provides. I get lost in the beauty of whatever is before me, always have and always will. Southern Alberta has fantastic light and it lends itself to expressive paintings. I see the huge Alberta skies and cannot wait to paint the magnificent colours that explode each and every day.

Question:
Do you have a favourite artist and what do you like about their art? Have you ever met them?
Answer:
I admire two artists...Brent R. Laycock and Rod Charlesworth. I have met Brent Laycock during a class in Okotoks. What I admire about their work is the freedom of colour and movement in their paintings. Brent Laycock uses colour in a higher vibrational tone while Rod Charlesworth choose the lower vibrational colour tones for most of his work.

Question:
Where do you typically create art?
Answer:
I have to have a special place that is all mine. I have a studio with lots of light, have to have the light....I can go and loose myself within the canvas. I also create en plein air when I can, where you can breathe in the light and experience the true emotions of nature.

Question:
How do you know when your art is complete?
Answer:
It is done, there is an instant when I say to myself "it is done".

Question:
What is most challenging to you when starting a new project?
Answer:
That is an interesting question but for me there is no challenge when starting a new project, in most instances I have to stop myself from painting so often. There is such freedom in picking up that brush and looking into a empty canvas and instantly I am into my work. I often paint from a memory of a particular scene and it magically takes a life of its own.

Question:
What advice would you give to an artist starting out?
Answer:
Just go with! None of us know what we are capable of doing unless we try.

Question:
What keeps you going forward with your art in this very competitive industry?
Answer:
Just the pure love and joy of what I am doing. I don't dwell on the industry as a whole at least on the competitive aspect as there are as many people liking different art as there are artists. But having said that all of us artists strive to have our work known and these are difficult times, but my desire just keeps me moving on.

Question:
In your studio, right now, what is your most important tool that you would be lost without?
Answer:
My imagination.

Question:
What is your favourite piece of work you have created, thus far?
Answer:
I have been playing with Nature and how I perceive her! Again that is a tough question as they all have a home in my heart but if I had to choose I painted a prairie scene during a wild storm colours are deep, dark and mysterious and the skies are passion and colour!

Question:
What is the most well received piece of art you have created?
Answer:
I painted a scene of the trees and mountains which was captured on a trip in Montana driving the Going to the Sun Road. This painting received attention from artists and admirers for its colour, vibrancy and use of brushstrokes. I like to use wild and big brushstrokes!

Question:
Do you have a favourite gallery or museum that you visit?
Answer:
I personally enjoy traveling into Banff, Canmore and Jasper. I love and admire our local artists and enjoy the feeling that their work has found a home in our beautiful Province in the many galleries that I do visit.