Thursday, 4/7/11: Janet Amundson-Splidsboel

Thanks to guest writer Sera Stanton for today’s post

Janet Amundson-Splidsboel was incredibly far along in her painting after only an hour. She says that she works very fast, and even brought along a second canvas just in case she finished her first painting before her time was up at Muse. Today Janet was painting a beautiful woman with red hair. Today she was painting with oils , but she also does encaustic painting.

The woman Janet was painting came from a sketch from a model. Janet usually works from models because she loves the “timeless woman” as well as the Art Deco woman. When she isn’t working from models, Janet does plein air paintings of landscapes.

To start her painting, Janet put down a layer of orange paint as a base color. From that point, she started laying down beautiful contrasting gold and violet tones to complement each other. “I think about complements a lot,” Janet said, “like how these two tones will make each other pop out.” As she progressed, Janet worked with long brushes so that she didn’t get caught up in details and worked with large masses and shapes on the painting.

Aside from shape and color, Janet likes to use a lot of variation in brush techniques. She had a large collection of brushes next to her, most of them long. She used square brushes to create large chunks of color in the woman’s hair and a round brush to create texture. Sometimes, she went in with a liner brush to create more distinct lines between the background and foreground. She didn’t coat the entire background with color; she likes to let the background show through her strokes. Janet says that she especially likes it when the oil paint begins to set because when you go over it with another lay of paint, the brush grabs it just enough that you can see some of the layers underneath.

Janet has been painting for fifteen years. She wanted to paint all her life, but she had a career and kids to take care of that took her away. Janet says that she thinks about faces a lot, and that is why she loves portraits. She told me that when she found time, she took a class at Portland Community College from a woman named Madeline Janovec. Madeline was very encouraging to Janet, and they formed a warm friendship. Unfortunately, Madeline passed away in March of this year. Janet says that every time she paints, she does it for Madeline because she knows that Madeline’s warm encouragement would be inspiring her.

It was a pleasure to meet and interview Janet. You can look at more of her work at

The last picture below shows  Janet’s painting at the end of the day Thursday. We’ll post an update with a picture of the finished painting.
UPDATE: The final picture shows Janet’s finished painting.  For information about placing a bid to purchase this piece, go to

Click on thumbnails to see larger pictures.

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