Richmond, Virginia is flush with artistic talent - artists who paint big, beautiful murals around town, others who capture the vibrant landscapes, open fields, the rush of the River, and those who fill the canvas with radiant color that brightens any stormy day. Among the talent is Janie Pinney whose works of art are both colorful and calm – exuding a sense of happiness and peace.
I met Janie years ago when this idea of sharing artists stories was just a little seed in my brain - what struck me then, and is true today, is Janie’s innate kindness and gentleness of heart. I love that our conversations have seesawed between insights from her artistic journey to how to "just start" a painting (the first stroke can be the hardest) to sound advice on parenting to laughter over Halloween costumes to pure wisdom from a life well-lived.
Learning to paint at a young age. Janie is inspired by the world around her and is especially moved by the vibrant and honed colors that show up in everyday life. Janie absorbs all the details, from the flowers on the table to the delicate hand-stitched napkins at each place-setting and the bowl of Mediterranean olives - each tiny detail collected in Janie’s mind and recreated in her work.
Like many women, Janie’s artistic practice has ebbed and flowed with the age and stage of her three girls – some phases allowing more time for creative endeavors while other times the paints waited patiently on the shelf. Whether in active pursuit or in the quiet moments, the spark never faded away. For Janie, there has always been a consistent pull, a yearning to paint.
Spending time with Janie in her home studio, it is clear that the root of her creative process is the permission she gives her self to be in the moment and the freedom to experiment. Donning an over-sized dress shirt, Janie moves about her space freely, confidently picking up brushes dabbing them with soft purple paint and applying delicate strokes to the canvas. Playfully, Janie begins without an end result in mind – leaning in to where the process takes her.
When painting, Janie is able to tap into the techniques from her meditation and yoga practices centering her mind and fully come in to herself. Janie uses these moments of quiet to guide her work. Each breath informing her body as she leads her paintbrush across the canvas in a gentle motion, making colors shine like lavender fields on a moonlit night. Flawlessly, Janie is able to capture variant hues of a sun-kissed sky married with pinks as pale as rose petals. All of these elements are independently strong and collectively breathtaking.
Combining a dedicated artistic practice with this freedom of mind and wisdom of living, Janie is able to create art that is truly stunning. Janie embraces her artistic approach as a constant evolution – with a foundation and deep knowing of who she is coupled with the youthful approach to playing into where she is going. Janie’s amazing art comes from the center of her heart that with a quiet confidence she shares it with the world.
See below for more our conversation and follow Janie on instagram @janiepinneyart
You can find some of Janies's amazing art right here! These pieces will be available for the month of November.
When did your journey into art begin?
My mother signed me up for art lessons when I was nine years old. That was my first exposure to oil painting and I just fell in love with the way the colors layered upon each other. That experience was definitely when this artistic journey began. In college, I was an Arts Management major which included some studio art and art history study. Over the years, I have been creating art in various forms and in the early 2000’s, I began to pursue art as more of a career path. Participating in weekly lessons and various workshops has really helped me grow in my artistic journey. When my nest was almost empty - the art spark grew and I found a desire to paint more…..and so I dove in head first!
What inspires you? What influences your work?
I can honestly say that almost anything and everything can be inspiring to me. I find inspiration in nature, people, shapes, colors, textures, music, publications, and other artists. Some influences are searched for but most show up in random and unexpected waves. Color is the strongest catalyst for me when working on most paintings.
When you are creatively stuck, what do you do?
I walk away from the easel and sometimes go through art books in hopes to find some creative mojo! And if that doesn’t happen, some form of exercise or yoga usually works wonders.
What is the best advice for someone who wants to create original art?
Find your voice by creating and experimenting with various mediums, take classes, and study the works of other artists. If it brings joy, keep at it. It takes patience and the desire to let go of your ordinary boundaries.
If you could buy a new piece of art, what would you buy and why?
That’s a hard one. I’ve always wanted to own a Wolf Kahn because I love his use of color and his simple organic approach. Also, we have portraits of our three girls as children, but I’d love to have small head portraits of each one as adults ………all are 20 somethings, and I’d like to catch that moment.