Janet Leith is a Contemporary Visual Artist and Art Educator based in North East Victoria, working from the Blue Studio in the heart of Wangaratta.
She works predominately with oils on canvas and linen, developing semi abstract expressive landscapes overlaid with images of figures. Her fascination with figurative art and portraiture has been long and varied and more recently her work has explored a merging of realistic, insightful portraits with the colours and textures of life in a unique use of form, line, tone and light.
The inspirations for her work come from the everyday, from the interactions and actions of life, from personal experience and captured moments recreated by a blending of different experiences.
Janet’s more recent work requires the development of many layers of oil paint before developing the figurative work or portrait as the final layer of paint, using black outlines and developing skin tones and selected details.
Drawing continues to form the backbone of her art practice, sketching objects, figures, decorative patterns or creating travel journals, using biro, pencils, gouaches and watercolour. Janet also enjoys experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of a variety of printmaking techniques and working on wood, developing and mastering a wide range of techniques and mediums in her art practice.
Janet completed her Bachelor of Education (Art & Crafts) at Melbourne State College and in her artistic career she has travelled extensively, living in Paris for 6 months studying and developing her art. In addition she worked overseas with artists such as Zandra Rhodes, Robert Maclean and J.C. Villalonga, the Spanish master who she worked as an apprentice in his studio for 6 weeks. It was here that she learnt to draw and paint hands and was influenced by Villalonga’s use of line and pattern within the figure.
She continues to split her time between her studio practice & adult classes at the Blue Studio, Art Gallery on Ovens and teaching Yr.12 Art at Galen College in Wangaratta. Janet has organised international tours to France, England & Italy for both her adult and senior school students and continues to run workshops on a regular basis at the Benalla Art Gallery.
Janet has been a Finalist in the Gallipoli Art Prize Sydney, the Hume Bank Acquisitive Contemporary Art Award Wodonga and NEA Portrait Prize Benalla. Selected three times for The Hidden Faces Victorian Salon Des Refuses in Melbourne, Janet has also won First Prize at the St. Bernard’s Art Show & the Acquisitive Oil Painting Prize at the King Valley Art Show, along with other Highly Commended and People Choice awards.