Janis Loewengart Yerington breathes art. She graduated, cum laude, from Brandeis University with a degree in Art History. She attended Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy as well as Cambridge University in the UK. She has worked at the New Yorker Magazine, a myriad of galleries, 3 museums and has had numerous solo shows. Janis and her husband of 26years have 3 wonderful children. She is a beloved educator. Her art has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the US and Europe and is enthusiastically collected around the world. Art is her passion and joy.
Janis Loewengart Yerington
Everything is so beautiful, I find myself swept away in worship throughout my days. The simple, the commonplace, the ordinary, I see through the lens of the artist and I observe these vignettes to be so gorgeous, so breathtaking. My thought life focusses on my family, my community and my God (not in any particular order) and how I can best love them. I like to think of whatever is good, whatever is right – and know that if I want to change the world it starts with loving those closest to me: my family, my students, my community. My art is not necessarily of a moralizing content or symbolic nature, yet perhaps still touches on the philosophical, spiritual or moral questions of our age in a very quiet small voice. My current work is in the humble yet persistent resonance of the still life genre, incorporating chiaroscuro and old world techniques.
Compositions are born as I prepare meals for my family and friends. I portray in my still lives the sensory pleasures that are purely local and seasonal. Real life counterpoints are prepared and served in my kitchen, just steps away from my tiny studio. The “ingredients”, my subject matter, are procured from harvesting the garden, collecting the backyard chicken’s eggs, from the natural store next door, or the local farm stand. I am staying disciplined to only highlight simple, raw, unprepared produce even though my nature wants to incorporate more.
I wonder what makes a compelling painting, knowing that historically in the hierarchy of subject matter the still life ranks last. I cherish that the mundane can be magical and that we can know the difference between the sacred and the profane. I see the beauty in everyday ingredients, the miracle of God’s bounty. As an east coast transplant I can never get over the abundance of produce in California. It is like the Garden of Eden and my town is a moveable feast, an embarrassment of wholesome farm to table riches, literally the birthplace of organic farming. It brings me joy to nourish my family and friends: table fellowship is to me one of the greatest expressions of love. As I cook, I observe that the humblest of natural objects can reveal something of the Divine.
As I paint these subjects I find them so emotional. My hope is that the viewer feels intimately engaged. That they enjoy the saturated colors, glowing through layer upon layer of glaze, imagine the delicious ripeness of the produce. The backgrounds are all black and in the illumination of the subjects forms are revealed and obscured. From the dark, the “tenebroso”, the light is revealed. Each small 10 inch by 10 inch, oil on board still life painting is a love letter; a prayer I offer up for you, my viewer.