Is Art Purposeful?


"Camden" 36" x 36" Acrylic on museum wrapped canvas
"Camden" 36" x 36" Acrylic on museum wrapped canvas


The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.~Pablo Picasso

Being an artist can be very difficult, especially if you are looking at it in a purposeful sort of way.  Just being alive is purposeful and certainly taking care of my son with Down’s, although humbling at times, is purposeful.  But, I have to ask myself is creating art “purposeful”?

 Here are some of the responses from my artist friends:

"I often think of how all of the arts have influenced me, taught me, enlightened and delighted me. I would suggest that if just one person is moved to tears, or made more aware of the human condition, or is able to see oneself or the world in a new way, then yes, making art is purposeful to humanity. I bought an abstract painting of water by a local artist, Peter Carolin, and had it hanging in my living room for several years. One day I was standing on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. I found myself looking at a patch of water and noticed the layers and elliptical patches of color intermingling to make a moving tapestry, reflections of the blue sky, white clouds, and the transparent patches that saw through to the yellow sand, and inexplicable patches of green water. I was amazed - it was like Peter's painting. Although I grew up by the water, I never saw it like this before. I understood at that moment that Peter's abstract painting had taught me - literally - how to see the world that was so familiar to me in a brand new way. "~Jim Carpenter

"I believe that art serves several purposes beneficial to humanity. First, it is a visceral form of communication. More important, I think, is that art can inspire, invigorate, even calm both viewers and creators. Artists are essential because we are exploring our universe and sharing our explorations in unique ways that can inspire each of us to (hopefully) positive action. There's also nothing wrong in simply adding more beauty to the world."~Patricia Vener

"Art has the power:

To give voice to a community

To transcend traditional communication processes

To express community issues and cultural values

To document history

To effect change

To open hearts and minds

To inspire, to motivate, to heal the spirit

To increase economic development

To create and maintain legacies"

Col Mitchell~ said the above so eloquently from a mission statement from Huntsville Art Society

"Art is an articulation of our interaction with nature and one another. Without art, the creative process, which involves both the act of creating and the process of participating (intellectually and emotionally) in the artist's vision, we would lose our humanity. At its deepest level, art is an expression of both our spirituality and our place in the universe."~Charles van Heck

 Joseph Campbell believed that the artist is a mystic with a craft that enables the truth to be brought to consciousness.

 Artists are the image-makers, the seers, the prophets, they create new vision and enlighten.  Artists can build-up the human spirit and in turn our culture.

 What is your answer? How is art purposeful for you?

*ART20K footage completed 15,078 square inches

*All art from Janet Vanderhoof’s Fine Art Gallery, maybe seen in Janet’s studio at Morgan Hill, CA.   You may purchase through contacting my email or phone (408) 460-7237.  Thank you!

Is Your Ladder Against the Wrong Wall?

Gateway to Chinatown

Joseph Campbell says, “The definition of middle age is, when you are at the top of the ladder, and found that it's against the wrong wall”.  How can we prevent this from happening?

Throughout my life I wanted to become an artist.  Twenty years old, waiting in line to sign up for Speech Pathology and Audiology classes, I already knew that I didn’t want to follow this path. There were many reasons why I didn’t major in art, one it wasn’t practical, two I thought I had to have a special gift, three I had to support myself in the future.

Middle age started young for me, my ladder was on the wrong wall and my dreams were never acknowledged.  It took having a child with Down’s syndrome at 38 years old, to finally give myself permission to follow my dream.   Having my son Blake was definitely a wake up call, I realized that I wasn’t getting any younger and needed to make this leap of faith.

Sometimes, you don’t need much to motivate you, when you reach this point. This wasn’t a hobby I was attempting, but something I took very seriously.  I asked a  good artist friend of mine, where to go from here, “What should I do? Do I have potential? Was I too old? Would people think I was crazy?’  I had the dream, but no idea where to start.  She was a great support.  She told me it was never too late, (my biggest fear, as well as being called crazy) and suggested I take a class at my local junior college. This one little acknowledgement and permission was enough to take me on my journey. We all need this support when we are moving that ladder.  The ladder is a lot easier to move with two people.

I’ll end this with another favorite quote of mine of Joseph Campbell’s, said so eloquently.

“All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.”  

This is my thirty-ninth painting of my #paint52 challenge, medium Atelier Interactive Acrylic on vellum, measures 8" X 8", Title-"Gateway to Chinatown", price $175 plus Shipping and Handling. SOLD

*All art from Janet Vanderhoof’s Fine Art Gallery, maybe seen in Janet’s studio at Morgan Hill, CA.   You may purchase through contacting my email or phone (408) 460-7237.  Thank you!

Color Sensibility


Waiting for the Cup at Pier 23 Cafe

More about color it’s meaning and influence visually, auditorily and sensually.

 Did you know that green is the most restful color to the human eye also represents fertility, rebirth and freedom. Most street signs are painted in metallic green with white letters for easy readability, hence the green and white sign above Pier 23 Cafe.

Did you know our perception of color could be associated with a perception of another sense?  This is called Synthesis, for example a color could represent a sound; red = loud, yellow = shrill or blue = distant.  Warm colors are associated with loudness and cool quietness.

Do you find that you are attracted to certain colors when painting or purchasing art?  This could reflect your personality and also affect you psychologically.

Have you noticed that grey is very popular lately in homes?  Could this reflect the meaning of the color, a stamp of exclusivity and creativity?  Grey is a color that enhances all colors that surround it.  Neutrals make bright colors sing.  Artists who are colorists would do well to know about neutrals.

For every positive side to a color there is also a negative.  Black can mean elegance at the same time represent fear and death. Colors can also create different meanings to certain cultures.  Although purple is found to symbolize royalty, it can also be the color of mourning for people from Thailand.

 A preference for certain colors could reflect your inner desires. Curious what is your favorite color?  Tell me your favorite color and I will tell you the qualities you have or perhaps a clue to what you desire?

How can color influence your art, now that you know it is so symbolic and not just visual?

This is my thirty-seventh painting of my #paint52 challenge, medium Atelier Interactive Acrylic on vellum, measures 10" x 10", price $240.00 SOLD

*All art from Janet Vanderhoof’s Fine Art Gallery, maybe seen in Janet’s studio at Morgan Hill, CA.   You may purchase through contacting my email or phone (408) 460-7237.  Thank you!

Underneath #paint52


I know you must be wondering, why the name "Underneath" and how does it relate to this painting? Well, color is my language. It speaks in layers, vibrancy, tones, subtleties and more. Color reflects my mood, passion, feelings and desires. It is limitless in regards to what color expresses for me. So as the many layers of color and the color selection and well as the movement in the painting, it tells me subliminaly what is going on "underneath" the surface. I also wonder if the colors I chose correlate to the chakras in my body. It tells me what energies I should notice, as well as a way I need to balance and release. Wassily Kandinsky elaborated on color in his book "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" He talked about how certain colors can represent certain instruments, as well as a reflection of our soul.

When I painted this painting yesterday, I felt such a need to lay down color, I know that it was necessary for my well-being and expression to pull what was underneath the layers of my body, mind and soul, and transform it. Color becomes the alchemy from my spirit to the physical world.

This is my twelfth painting of my #paint52 challenge to paint 52 paintings this year. The painting measures 6-3/4" X 10", Atelier Acrylic on velum and is also for sale for $150.00, contact me if you are interested.  SOLD Your support has been wonderful and I am so grateful, thank you!

One Glass At A Time #paint52

One Glass At A time

This is my fifth painting of the #paint52 challenge and also another addition to my San Francisco Series. It measures 8" X 11" painted with Atelier Interactive Acrylics on velum. How appropriate it is called "One Glass At A Time", echoing my one painting at a time to complete 52 paintings in one year. I first painted a bright green underpainting and I used the Binder Medium to make sure it stayed put. The Binder Medium prevents the paint from bleeding through or being picked up when painting over it. I wanted to make sure that bits and piece showed through, since the color theme of the painting is a silvery pinkish color; it allowed the neutrals to vibrate. It also created a sensation for me while painting, a push pull effect, a term used by Hans Hoffman. I used mostly neutrals in this painting. I made a pile of half dark and half-light, and added my colors to these neutrals to create a pearlescent quality. I'm still getting used to using acrlyics, and love that I can paint quickly, creating a much looser painting. This is a desire of mine to paint loose, less is more. THIS PAINTING IS SOLD

Thank you for following me on my #paint52 journey!