Artist Watch: Janine Irisarri

I came across Janine’s work on one of the many mosaic forums I’m a part of. Her work is gorgeous, as is Janine… Here is her story…

Janine’s path to Mosaic Art was not without a detour or two along the way. Two major curves in the road were a career in foreign language education (specifically teaching Spanish) and raising two children in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

Although Janine had had no formal art training, she always had a deep desire to create. During the 80’s when her kids were young, she became involved with folk art painting on wood and quickly became an expert at wielding a jig saw to cut forms suitable for the desired paintings. “Could there be a connection here with cutting shapes?”, she asks.

The motivation to pursue some sort of art was cultivated further by her children. Both son and daughter took several art classes in high school. “Their work”, she says “as any mother would say, was phenomenal! I figure…, they have my genes…I must have some artistic ability too!” So in 2004, Janine retired from teaching, children were graduated and on their own. She was ready to embrace art and unleash her creativity!

Janine began her artistic endeavors, full speed ahead, with a variety of drawing classes, design classes, and watercolour classes at several of the local art centers. All have been an integral part in her artistic journey.

“Early on I realized that the key to all art is the ability to draw. Therefore I have really dedicated myself to drawing.”

It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that one of her drawing friends told her about a mosaic class that was being offered. “I decided to try something ‘different’. I became instantly hooked! I was captivated by the color and reflective qualities of the glass that we were using. Furthermore, I was and am intrigued by the use of shapes…… somehow reminiscent of my jigsaw-wielding days!”

Janine further states: “Mosaic art has become a way to breathe life and color into my drawings. I found early on that mosaic art is quite forgiving….. quite like drawing…… don’t like the line you drew, erase it. Don’t like the shape you cut….. cut another.” {Hmmm… wish it were so easy for me 😉 }

Janine is stimulated by the challenges that are presented in mosaic art…..what shapes to use; how to create colour gradation with glass; how to create texture in the work; and one of the most important to her: how to simplify. “The challenges are endless. I often find, perhaps in a concert, or even in a conversation, that my mind drifts to the details of the mosaic I’m working on…. trying to solve a problem with shape, color, or pattern.”

Janine mentions how fortunate she has been to have had some great teachers along the way…. teachers that have really helped her to see with new eyes. “I still am taking classes or workshops to develop my skills in drawing and mosaic. My newest endeavour with mosaics will be in September when I will take a mosaic sculpture class. Going from 2D to 3D , yet another challenge!”

I find this story so inspiring… let’s have a peek at her incredibly detail-oriented art now, shall we?!

Finally, meet the Artiste in question, Janine:

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1 Comment

Filed under Animals, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Birds, Female, Flowers, Furnishings, Glass on Glass, Janine Irisarri, Mosaic, Ornamental, Table, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

One response to “Artist Watch: Janine Irisarri

  1. Kim Wolff

    Love this art! Fantastic mosaics…such depth and detail.

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