Janet Judge is a contemporary artist painting and teaching in Cornwall producing vibrant paintings in watercolour and mixed media of the Cornish coast, boats, harbours and still life.
Originally trained as a sculptor, her eye for form is still evident in her choice of subject. It is often as if she is trying to sculpt the subject in paint rather than clay, getting deep into the shadows around her subject. She finds that watercolour is perfect for painting the sea, using transparent layers of colour to depict sand and rocks under the moving water.
She is inspired by living close to the sea, lucky enough to see it every day from her home. ‘When you live close to the sea you feel more in tune with its moods and on a practical level I can see where the wind and the clouds are heading.’
Janet’s inspiration usually starts with colour. The process and inspiration is the same for still life or landscape painting, it is usually the colour or combination of colours that catch her eye. When ever possible Janet will paint from life, finding she can capture more of the energy and atmosphere of the moment working outside – whatever the weather – rather than later in the studio. If the weather is too bad she would rather paint still life in the studio than paint sea scapes from photographs.
“I like the spontaneity of sketch book studies and try to keep that freshness in larger works, capturing the light and colours of a particular moment. I build up layers of transparent colour to get an intensity not normally associated with watercolour.”
Drawing is an essential part of her creative process and it is often evident in her finished work. ‘I like to see the history of a painting, how it evolved, the artist’s working process. For me drawing is part of that process so why try to hide it?’ Watercolour it is often mixed with soft or hard pastel and gouache (opaque watercolour). Especially when working in the landscape, she will use whatever is needed to capture the mood of the place and finish the painting while she is outside.
Janet also paints flowers and still life especially fish and bowls of fruit. “They offer the perfect combination for me of interesting form and sumptuous colour.” She also enjoys painting other landscapes, especially around the Helford River and the Suffolk coast and marshes. ‘We used to live near Aldeburgh and I love to come back when I can to paint the stillness of this completely different landscape.’
Janet sometimes works in acrylic and oils to get softer, milky colours impossible to achieve in watercolour..
She has exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions around the country and has had many images published as Limited Edition Prints and Greetings Cards.
Known as an inspiring and patient teacher for adults, Janet also runs workshops for children.