1. What inspires you?
On a personal level, I have always looked for beauty in common place scenes or objects, as can be seen in my still lifes. Plato said "It is beauty I seek, not beautiful things". On a professional; level, when Bentley commissions me to do a new subject, I find inspiration and challenge in creating something new on a piece of canvas that may not have existed quite that way before! Many times it is difficult to shut off the inspirations and creativity at night! I continue to "paint" in my mind, seeing the art work progressing as if looking at it on a TV screen!
2. Do you have a favorite piece of yours? If so,which is it and why?
I'll have to mention still lifes again: PRIVATE RESERVE, 24"X48" oil on canvas. This is a still life scene of a corner of my wine cellar. I believe everything an artist has learned over the years, color, values, balance and composition can be seen in a still life. With this still life, I have endeavored to show the beauty of contrasting shadows and light.
Someone (Wolfgang Borne?) once said, "Still life is the chamber music of art". I've always loved that quote.
3.What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating art?
Tending to my rose gardens and fern garden. I guess that is creating too, isn't it?
4.Are there current art trends that you love or hate?
For me, the current art trends of today are sometimes off the scale of art. Although I am a traditionalist and favor realism in some form, I can appreciate SOME of the current trends in art today and I enjoy seeing GOOD abstract art,, but for the life of me, I can't see much art in a canvas smeared with cow dung.
5.Whose art can we find displayed in your home?
Well of course there is a surplus of Kruskamp art in every room on every wall! But I do have the following:
a litho by Norman Rockwell (well of course!) also a signed drawing of Prince Valiant by Hal Foster. These two artists were my first idols as a small child. Also displayed are some very old prints including: Song Of The Lark by j. Breton, Dinner For The Threshers by Grant Wood and Shepherd's Call, also titled Found, (a sheep dog finding a lost sheep in a snowstorm.) Hunt is thought to be the original artist of this piece.
6. How did you learn to draw and paint?
I was born with artistic genes and began drawing at about age two when my parents told me my first recognizable drawing was the Planters Peanut man! I drew on anything, the walls, the floor, the inside of my parents walk- in clothes closet, etc.
When I was 11 years old, I attended a Saturday arts and crafts class at the city of Burbank,California Recreation Center. The teacher admired a drawing I did of a horse. She asked me if I had more drawings at home so the next Saturday I brought in a pile of drawings, all horses! I loved horses! She asked me if she could keep them until the following week.
The following week, my folks opened up the local newspaper and lo and behold, there was a photo of one of my horse drawings and an article inviting the public to the Recreation Center to view a showing of drawings by "A talented young artist", me! Wow! We rushed down to the Recreation Center and there were all my drawings, matted beautifully, lining all the walls of the Center!! My first solo show at age 11!
As far as formal education, in my teens a scholarships to Chouinard Art Institute, where my water color teacher insisted on paying me for a water color that I had just finished, (my first sale!) and in my 20's, two years of Color Theory with Viona Ann Kendall. After that, a lot of painting and self discovery through the years. I also taught private painting classes until 1993 when Bentley filled all my time with commissions! You can learn a lot when you help students wrestle with their painting problems.
7.What can we expect from you in 2012?
Well bring it on! What will Bentley ask me to paint next? I love challenges and being rather versatile, I am always hoping for something new! In the mean time, when I do not have a commission from Bentley, I love to do pleinair paintings, especially the Southwest and West. Also the redwoods, and when time permits, portraits, both people and sometimes people's pets!
8.Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Oh yes! Start with a good teacher who teaches BASICS! And who teaches from LIFE, not copying from postcards!
Here we go again with still lifes, but it is very true that everything you need to know about color, value, composition is all there in a still life! Many people look but they don't SEE. If you can truly see a vase and paint it correctly, you can do the same with a face!
I always started my student's studies with a still life using only black and white, but looking at full color objects. There are literally hundreds of values in these studies that cannot be seen in a so called "value chart". Next would be a study using all white objects, finding all the color in the different shades of white and the color in the contrasting shadows from dark to light! And of course PAINT every day! The more you practice at anything the better you become!
9.What 3 words can best describe your art?
Years ago, in An American Artists In Paris art show, a French art critic described the style of my work as "Romantic Realism". I guess those two words kind of sum it up for me. Can't think of a third word.
10.How do you feel about dogs playing poker?
I love the painting! It is clever,creative and humorous and also shows a great deal of talent. As far as the dogs go, I choose the one with the best hand!
Original oils & acrylics, if not framed, are also stretched on wooden "stretcher bars" ready for framing. See all information under each painting.
Please email me for any questions.
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© 2016 Janet Kruskamp
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