Janet Bothne began her creative journey in Massachusetts, studying art from grade school through a short stint at the University Of MA at Amherst. Disillusioned with the art curriculum, she set out to make her mark outside of the academic world. She went on to restore antiques, paint murals for businesses and draw portraits in pastel for occasional clients.
In 1996, she moved to California and threw herself into her work full-time, making the transition from fastidious realism to her unique abstractions. Since that time, Bothne created and sold hundreds of works to collectors throughout the U.S. and abroad. She’s exhibited in various venues in AZ, CA, CO, NM, MA, and FL.
In 2013 she moved to New Mexico, opened a studio/gallery in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and began teaching abstract painting to great response. Her students are ardent followers, many still with her from the inception of the classes. She’s learned that offering guidance to new and emerging artists has been an immensely rewarding endeavor — with the added benefit of inspiring her creativity as well.
Her “Studio J” has provided a creative hive and exhibition space that has become a welcome addition to the village of Los Ranchos.
To cajole paint to assemble itself into something out of the void, especially in the abstract, requires an accord between artist and materials. It requires a back and forth between seeing, reacting, being ever ready to give up on the ‘plan’ if the work dictates a new direction, and coming to trust that chaos and organization are the playful yin and yang of the whole.
The more challenges this process presents, the more I engage. It’s about being present and realizing there is no perfection to be achieved, just a hard-earned accord. I sometimes feel I am painting ‘backwards’, with some idea of an elusive end result that I purposefully push back from in my early layers. Getting towards resolving a piece, plans have usually gone awry because the paint has shown me what it would rather do.
After having given up the need to control my work, I have found my center and learned the satisfaction of letting paint be paint. It’s shown me the beauty in things that arrive on their own terms. I’m simply the conduit for these colors that play and trick the eye, with their varying personalities, revealing themselves or not, depending on the light—their mischievous accomplice.
The ultimate goal of my artistic practice is to achieve balance; a balance in the process between control and letting go, a balance esthetically between the simple and the complex, and balance conceptually between the familiar and the enigmatic.