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Janet Stafford

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"Open", oil on canvas
"Open", oil on canvas
My paintings are works that I think about long before I begin to paint them. Making the pieces takes much time, a slow, meditative process that is key to my work. My current practice of breaking down images into smaller bits of paint and color has a meaning that eludes me, and is intriguing. I consider painting to be quite abstract and, though material, apart from our ordinary experience.

"Family", detail, oil on canvas
"Family", detail, oil on canvas
The subject matter for my ideas is varied, ranging from maps and astronomical imagery to heavy construction and science. At present I am attracted to landscape elements, especially trees and mountains. I am interested in examining and exploring the images I choose. They are separate from, though related to, the idea of the painting itself.
"Natural History", detail, oil on canvas
"Natural History", detail, oil on canvas
"All Connected", oil on canvas
"All Connected", oil on canvas
"Open", detail, oil on canvas
"Open", detail, oil on canvas
My paintings are sequential, photographically informed, and in grid format. I start with idea and image and develop them simultaneously, and I dwell on both for a period of time. I usually visualize and imagine a complete painting before I go out and take photographs for it. The photographs function as drawings for my paintings – informative and as a way of finding out more about both idea and image. They clarify and sharpen the overall, and then serve as models.
The grid makes me think about mathematics, minimal art, and order placed on chaos. I am reminded of purity, context, and simplicity. I also think about repetition, counting, and rhythm. My grid is a visible structure, most simply two dimensional, usually white or black, and it serves to both separate and connect images. It allows the individual pictures to be concurrent and linear, to coexist.
"Loss", detail, oil on canvas
"Loss", detail, oil on canvas
I have recently been making high resolution inkjet prints from 2" x 2" slides of my paintings. If I used a source for scanning other than a small transparency, the detail would be sharper, but that is not a concern of mine in the prints. The paintings are heavy, present, and detailed. The prints seem removed. Often, and depending on its size, a printed image can seem ghostly and insubstantial, even indecipherable, yet still photographic. The physicality of the paintings is transformed in paper prints that are light, less material, more two dimensional.
Janet Stafford
300 West 55th Street
# 11F
NY 10019
New York, NY
New York
North America

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Janet Stafford
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