Upcoming Events

WHAT WAS I THINKING???? It’s been a busy time lately because out of the entire year, I decided to participate in TWO studio tours and my first ever art fair…all in October and November. Call me crazy, I know…but my kids think it’s the greatest thing ever. FESTIFALL – OCT 7th 12-6 First time ever…I submitted an application to participate in an art fair in Chapel Hill. The first application I submit, of course I get in and then think “oh…I guess I need a tent…and panels…and…”.  I quickly submersed myself into the world of art fairs. This is a whole new world of do’s and don’t’s and how to prevail against The-Wizard-of-Oz-type winds and still sell art. Wish me luck. It’s this Sunday, October 7th from 12-6. Just walk toward the increasingly loud music coming from the stage, put some ear plugs in and come say “hi”. No need to yell…I might not be able to hear that anyway. 

read more Upcoming Events

You Found Me!

I’ve been working in the background here to see if WordPress is really as great as I keep hearing (and seeing!). My regular website is a free one from sitekreator, and while I like it OK, I want to find something more streamlined, easy to update and to have my website name instead of ‘whatever.janaelehto.com’ (and this one will eventually get me there)… Soon, it will all get rolled over to this website, but you just found me here as I’m working through the glitches. I’ve added the links to the side in case you want to go to my old website and blog. Oh, and I’m on facebook, too, so like my page if you’re interested in updates! So far, I’ve been able to import all my old posts from blogger over here, so it’s coming along.

Multiple Pet Portrait

My Take on a Portrait with More Than One Subject I talked earlier about portraits and how I LOVE them. From Wikipedia: A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. Couldn’t this apply to any subject? I’m going to say “Of course!” The purpose changes a little when doing portraits with multiple animals or people. The face and expression  of ONE is no longer predominant when adding more than one subject. But, that’s not to say it won’t be successful. Given the right references, it can be an awesome painting!   Let’s say you’ve decided to commission an artist to do a portrait with two or more pets in it instead of multiple individual portraits.  First realize it won’t have the same impact as it would with one pet. Wooly Malamute | pastel | 16×20 Having more than one dog/pet in a painting gives the

read more Multiple Pet Portrait

What is the Definition of a Portrait?

Flower Portraits? Why Yes, I Do That Too… If you’re familiar with my work, you would know that I like to paint and draw animals, people, flowers…so as I was writing this post about portraits and what I like to focus on, I realized that what I’m really painting is portraits. Portraits of people, animals and flowers. In my bio/statement/about me sections that all artists should have, I say the same things…that I’m drawn (hahaha) to the details of a subject. It makes sense when I put my portraits together… Portrait of Alex | charcoal | 16×20 Bovine Curiosity | charcoal | 18×24 Himalayan | pastel | 16×20 Even when you look at the flowers I have done, you see the same thing…close enough to see some detail, but not too close that it becomes abstract.   Violet | colored pencil | 8×10 Antique Rose | colored pencil | 8×10 Carnation | colored pencil | 8×10 Reference Photos Here are

read more What is the Definition of a Portrait?

Regrets? Yes and No

Whenever anyone I work with learn I have an art degree, I get the eyebrow raise. My job is in clinical research and really has no place for art. Do I have regrets? Maybe, but not for the reasons you may think. I will always be thankful for getting an art degree. Even though the “art” doesn’t help me with my current profession, I’m thankful for two reasons: I Learned How to See An EARLY sketch of boxes, plates, cups As much as I hated drawing box after box, or the constant measuring – once I got it – not “oh, this is how I do it”, but “oh, this is WHY I am doing it”, it made perfect sense! It’s something I wish I did in high school or even earlier than that. As simple as drawing boxes made me see the angles and measuring made me see something as simple as eye placement on a face. I was

read more Regrets? Yes and No

The Artist and the Writer

As some of you know, my husband’s “hobby” has been writing. It’s been laying dormant for a while, but he’s recently come back to it full force. As he talked to me recently about ideas, it occurred to me how similar, yet different we are. We are both creative people. In general, artists and writers go about their lives internalizing their experiences, yet in completely different ways. This thought came to me when a random story was being told to me and hearing how my husband came to it…it didn’t come to him by LOOKING OUTSIDE – staring off into the beauty of nature…he just thinks constantly, about ideas, about people, about interactions. I know there are plenty of jokes to be had right now, but really, I’m not a thinker (haha). I’m an observer. I take walks or sit outside to take in the beauty of what I see. My husband takes walks or sits outside to think. Artists

read more The Artist and the Writer

An Old Portrait and an Older Portrait

Oops!   I totally forgot that I meant to post a charcoal portrait of my daughter in the last post! That was a major reason I did a non-art post, but I guess that’s what happens when you have someone like me, posting about who-knows-what. I try to stay on topic of art, but sometimes, I gotta stray. Portrait of Anna   Granted, this portrait was done years ago, and I’m painfully aware I should do an update. Plus, I have other family members who have waited patiently for their turn, but since theirs is free, they have no choice but to sit back and… wait some more. Portrait of my Dad   So now we get to go down memory lane…to 20 (yes, TWENTY!) years ago. I did a portrait of my dad that I submitted and won 1st place in a Father’s Day event. Looking at it now…I can honestly tell you his lips were not that “pretty”.

read more An Old Portrait and an Older Portrait

A Time for Celebration and Remembrance

Picture of Anna before school today Happy birthday to my daughter!  She’s 6 today! She’s excited, but not as much as you would think a 6 year old GIRL would be. She probably gets more excited about her brother’s birthday than she does about her own. Of course, she IS excited to see me bring cupcakes to her class, and will be excited when we go to dinner so she can see her cousins. She IS excited about her presents…but quietly so. You put her in front and expect her to burst from excitement and you’re more likely to see her burst into tears. Anna trying not to smile/cry while people sing Happy Birthday The other day when we got together for Easter, she was propped up on the counter while we (lots and lots of “we”) sang Happy Birthday to her. I took pictures…and expected to see tears.      It’s not only my daughter’s birthday today, it’s my

read more A Time for Celebration and Remembrance

Excuses, Excuses (or why I haven’t painted lately)

This wasn’t going to be its own post, but instead a short list of excuses within another post of WHY I HAVEN’T POSTED ANY NEW WORK!  Well, I had a little too much fun with my list. It’s a pretty accurate portrayal of our life right now with two kids, 7 and 5 years old. (OK, soon to be 7 and 6 years old on Wednesday!) Here are my excuses…in no particular order of priority.  Excuse #1: FAMILY I have to talk to them and help my kids do stuff. Take the simple act of bathing. “Yes, you have to take a bath.”  And for those of you who have more than one child… “Whoever guesses the closest number from 1-10 has to go first.” “I don’t care who goes first…just take a bath!” “Did you wash your hair/brush your teeth?” “It doesn’t smell like you washed your hair/brushed your teeth.” “Why is the shampoo almost gone? I just bought

read more Excuses, Excuses (or why I haven’t painted lately)