Janet Matthews has lived in various parts of Australia, and as an artist has long been attracted to natural themes. Some years ago, Janet began drawing wildlife and found her niche. She is passionate about her subjects and her particular style. With easy access to zoos, parks and the country from her home in Narre Warren (Victoria), Janet spends a lot of time closely observing her subjects so she can capture their personality on paper.
In her own words..
"Being an artist is very important to me, is very much the reason why I have been placed on earth and colours my whole approach to life. Coloured pencils have been my passion ever since I was introduced to them as a serious medium while at Uni. I have always believed that subtlety is a powerful way to convey my message. All my work has an underlying purpose as art is one of the most successful tools to spread a message to the world. This varies with each image, but most of the time I am trying to capture and share with the viewer the quiet intimate moments in the animal or bird's life. This may be the feeding of the young, the cuddle of male and female, the underwater dance of the platypus or the engaging stare of a mountain lion.
As I have developed as an individual and passed through different phases of my life, my work has also developed. During my University years I explored the hidden sensuality of nature, which developed into the concept of something precious cradled by nature which echoed my experiences during my young motherhood years. My concept has changed as I became more independent of my children, expanding to include adult creature interactions as well as individual personality within the herd.
Recently I have explored this concept of individuality within the crowd by creating a pattern of bodies which includes the key figure who is only distinguished by the use of coloured pencils which glow when surrounded by the greylead rendering of other animals.
We see animals in the wild merely as a flitter of colour or movement hidden in the foliage, this wonderful interaction is something I like to portray and share with others. Ultimately, by introducing more people to the wonders of our wildlife they will have a more enriched life as well as care more for the preservation and conservation of the animals and their environment".
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