Janet Black Fine Art
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Artist Bio

Janet Black:
The artist and her palette …

… the tip of
the paper stash iceberg  …

No Paint. Really!!

The answer to the most commonly asked question is: “NO paint! Really!”

Being a painter at heart, my works of “figurative collage” take on the quality of paintings combined with the properties of torn papers of all sorts and sources. The images are brought to life through a unique method of combining and intricately layering paper (using no paint whatsoever). In my current work, I am literally painting with paper, tearing the colors and shapes and applying them as I would paint — to create an image, convey a thought, share a vision. Paper becomes color, text or calligraphy become messages or abstract design elements, patterns become texture. The whole becomes an exploration of its parts returning to comprehend it again as a single image. 

I’ve always been drawn to faces – human and animal. My most satisfying work captures an expression that communicates something of the life within. I find a connection to the mystery of life when I work with animal images, portraying a life that I can only attempt to understand from outside of it, and yet which enlivens something in my spirit. And more and more I am fascinated with mythical, spiritual images of women, perhaps in response to my own seeking for a deeper self-identity, one that may extend beyond this 21st century body and into a vaster past and a kinder future.

In an increasingly complicated world, the mind seeks a resting place. In my view, the best of art is visual meditation, bringing the viewer into another place, creating a window to another possibility. I seek to find the images that lead me through that window, into a place of understanding, communion, exploration, fun and deeper meaning. As an artist, it is my task to bring back and share what I discover there. Many of my pieces include words that have been inspiring to me, from contemporary song lyrics to A Course in Miracles. These snippets of text offer a silent meditation to the viewer, and join in the collage as texture and color as well.

My art has ushered in my "second adulthood", deferred while I raised a family and maintained a freelance graphic design business. I celebrated my empty nest by returning to a first love. I am also very involved in the local art community in Ventura, California, where I live, especially the Buenaventura Art Association, Focus on the Masters, the Ventura Music Festival, OVA Arts Gallery, and Studio Channel Islands Art Center.

Selected Exhibitions


  • First Place, Collage & Mixed Media Competition, Buenaventura Art Association
  • OVA Arts Gallery (Ojai, CA) Accepted as an exhibiting artist.


  • "Works in Figurative Collage", solo exhibit
    John & Linda Friend Art Gallery, Concordia University, Irvine, CA

  • Buenaventura Art Association, "Featured Artist"
    Harbor Village Gallery, Ventura, CA


  • “Synthesis”, solo exhibit
    Buenaventura Gallery, Ventura, CA

  • Featured Artist: "Harvest ArtWalk", City of Ventura
    Bell Arts Factory, solo exhibit

  • Ventura County Arts Council, County Government Center,
    Ventura, CA, group exhibit

  • “Treasure Chests”, Ventura Music Festival
    Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, CA

  • “Treasure Chests”, Ventura Music Festival
    Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura, CA

  • “March”, Vita Art Center, Ventura, CA

  • "Renew", Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura, CA

  • “Doors”, Stoneworks Studio, Ventura, CA

  • "A Celebration of Life", Fundraiser/Auction for Breast Cancer
    Harbor Village Gallery, Ventura, CA
  • "PhotoVentura", Buenaventura Art Gallery, Ventura, CA

  • "Small Wonders", Buenaventura Gallery, Ventura, CA
  • Proverbs CoffeeHouse, Camarillo, CA, trio exhibit


  • “Face Value”, solo exhibit
    Harbor Village Gallery, Buenaventura Art Association,
    Ventura, CA


  • “15 Minute Girls”, Farmer and the Cook, Ojai, CA

  • Downtown Art Walk, Ventura, CA

  • Studio Channel Islands Art Center, member exhibit, Camarillo, CA


  • Award of Merit, Head Drawing, Ventura College Foundation,
    Ventura College Dept. of Fine Art, Ventura CA


  • "Ventura Paints Italy", Ventura College Dept. of Fine Art,
    Strauss/Uritz and Griffin & Griffin, Ventura CA

Public Art Installation:

  • Ventura Harbor Village Shopping Center, Ventura CA

  • "Wild Mercy" by Elizabeth Cunningham (Creatrix Press).
    Cover art and illustrations.

  • “She of 10,000 Names,” by Kat Sojourner. Cover art. Unpublished.

Private Collections:
  • Work, including commissioned portraits, in private collections in California, the US and Germany

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1974
  • Ventura College, Moorpark College; Continuing education in art,
    design and digital art.

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