Janet Kruskamp's Paintings - Women that make a difference, an article about Janet Kruskamp

Women That Make A Difference

Originally published in San Jose Magazine, June/July 1973
By Susan A. Thomas

Janet Kruskamp

Janet Kruskamp had her first one-woman show at the age of 11. An art instructor at the Arts and Recreation Center in Burbank matted all the drawings that Janet had done and exhibited them for her. From her studio in Los Gatos, Janet said, “It was my first introduction to exhibiting. It was a real inspiration.”

Later, as a teenager studying at what is now the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, one of Janet’s instructors bought a painting from her, making her a professional. “I always knew I’d paint,” said Janet, “but these two incidents made me aware of some of the other aspects of being a professional artist.”

The critics describe Janet’s style as “romantic realism.” “I don’t have the brittleness of photorealism,” Janet explained. “In photorealism, you show every pore, every line in the face. In romantic realism, you take out the things you don’t think are necessary. I use artistic license without destroying authenticity. What it does is soften the painting to where it isn’t so painfully accurate.”

About five years ago, Janet decided to put together a bicentennial collection, a decision which led her on journeys totaling some 35,000 miles throughout the United States. Janet’s husband and one of her three children accompanied her on one such journey during which Janet took over 3,000 photographs from which she painted about 40 pieces.

Janet’s current project is a show entitled “Transition,” to be held at the San Jose Museum of Art in July, 1980. The collection will emphasize the impact of progress on the Santa Clara Valley region. “I want people to see what’s happening here in the San Jose area,” Janet explained. “I see beauty in the old buildings. I know they have to go, but I want to record what it looks like here as we enter the 80’s.”

Janet has another goal with her painting. “Part of an artist’s job,” she said, “is to make people see things that they don’t normally see. My paintings are time capsules, capturing all the things that people never noticed before.”

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