Janet Lesniak

Janet began painting when she was eight years old. Inspired by Jackson Pollack, she painted on large pieces of newsprint upon which she would create big paintings full of splatters and carefully placed brush strokes. The feeling of ‘dancing with the paint’…choreographing shape and color into brilliant pieces of art enchanted her and seduced her into a love of painting and established her identity as an artist.

 

Janet attended Boston University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy with a minor in Fine Arts.  She worked for many years developing creative arts therapy programs in health care settings across New England and California.  For over 20 years she managed the ‘family business’, the legendary Big Sur River Inn, welcoming visitors from around the world to the California coast.  In 2009, Janet moved to Wellfleet to be closer to her children and grandchildren and became the first Executive Director of Wellfleet Preservation Hall…a community cultural center celebrating the intersection of arts, culture and community.  All of these professional adventures have been inspired by and fortified her commitment to healing and wellness through creativity and community engagement.

Making art has always been the heart center for Janet.  As a member of ‘The Hoop of Eight”, eight accomplished women painters living in Big Sur, CA, Janet explored color, shape, light and texture in the context of the ever-changing Big Sur landscape.  She has studied with Ronna Emmons, Erin Gafill,  Robert Cardinal and most recently with Cherie Mittenthal, who persuaded her to try encaustic and play with wax.  Painting with wax resurrects those old childhood feelings of ‘dancing with the paint’.  The play of light between the layers of wax…the way the colors move and flow gives life and external expression to her imagination.