Janell James

Artist Statement

Through the deconstruction of very traditional methods of oil painting, Janell James has found a way to take what is old and make it into something new for our times by painting and then layering on a contemporary surface. Sculpting, as it were, the landscape from back to front. Her paintings on multiple panels of acrylic glass are 3D, kinetic, and sculptural. Painting on the front and back of five panes of glass, she is able to use the actual layers to increase the visual understanding of depth within her practice. The surrounding light and environment contribute making each painting a literal, living work of art. Shadows are cast upon layers and light illuminates within giving a heartbeat and soul to each work of art. James has reinvented the way in which a landscape is painted and seen traditionally embracing modern and abstract concepts to accomplish this challenging task. 


Utah is my place of birth, residency and continual adventure. I received my Bachelor of Science, Parks Recreation & Tourism, Hospitality Emphasis from the University of Utah in 1998, studied at the Studio Escalier, in Paris, France, the Classical Artists Atelier in Belmont, CA, and at the Helper Art School in Helper, UT. I love to hike and run the mountainous trails, smell the minerals of the earth on a rainy day, the decay of leaves from the trees hibernating through winter, and listen to the crunch of the snow as I move along in this nature wonderland. It is the four seasons that I long for as I watch the colors of the trees change from brown to bright yellow and lush green. Traveling and camping with my dogs, we can go off in any four directions in this beautiful state and discover something new. Some terrain feels like we have just left the planet and landed on the moon, other places take us back in time to the days of the Anasazi Indians, and some places are so wild you can hear the coyotes, see the rattlesnakes and watch wild horse. 


Janell James’ CV

AJFA Presents our Work of the Week: Janell James’ Wild Flowers – An Homage to Kathryn Woodman Leighton