My intention in art has always rested upon my engagement with the human figure, it’s psychological and emotional resonance and embodiment of enduring values and formal ideas. At times I work directly from the model in the studio in a strictly perceptual mode. In other instances, I develop more elaborate figure compositions from imagination, yet rooted in observation of real life experience, relating figure to environment. A relationship between artist and subject develops as my intuition combines with observation and it is this relationship that keeps me engaged and my perceptions fresh and open to change. Each drawing or painting experience offers a new exploration of formal possibilities. Capturing the particular character of the subject is most important to me by developing the interplay of light on form and identifying key color and value relationships.
Janet Wentworth, the daughter of landscape painters and dedicated painting teachers, began her involvement in art at an early age. She first pursued her formal education at the Art Institute of Boston, then in New York City; earning a B.F.A. degree from Parsons School of Design and a M.F.A. in painting from Brooklyn College. Her early art career included book illustration for major publishers such as HarperCollins, McGraw-Hill, Little Brown & Co. and Houghton Mifflin & Co. While illustrating books, she continued to pursue her passion for fine art, especially figure drawing and painting, by studying at the National Academy School of Fine Art and the Art Student’s League of New York with Harvey Dinnerstein, Robert Beverly Hale and Ted Seth Jacobs.
While studying art abroad in France and Italy with Jack Beal, Sondra Freckelton, and Sigmund Abeles via the La Napoule Art Foundation Scholarships, Janet traveled throughout western Europe visiting over two dozen of the continent’s most renowned art museums. These studies were pivotal in further synthesizing her ideas in depicting the human form. Upon returning to New York City, she was invited to join the faculty of the National Academy School of Fine Art where she taught drawing and painting for almost a decade. In 2005, Janet joined the art department of the State University of New York, Oneonta, where she currently teaches figure drawing. She resides and maintains an art studio in Delhi, New York.
Janet’s figure paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely throughout the United States including the First Street Gallery, LaGuardia Gallery and the National Academy Museum in New York City, The Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio, and the New England Fine Art Institute and Copley Society in Boston, Massachusetts. She has received numerous grants and awards including those from the Posey, Stacey, and Revson Foundations, National Academy of Design, Academic Artists Association, Pastel Society of America (Master Pastellist), and Society of Illustrators. She is a member of the Pastel Society of America and Academic Artists Association.
To commission a portrait, contact the artist at Janet.Wentworth@oneonta.edu