Tzompantli Art Exhibit

Fall Greetings!

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few days away! Fall has slipped by so quickly!

In October I was honored to be asked to join 75 artists in creating a piece of art for a “Tzompantli art Exhibition.” I was especially thankful as I am not Latino and this was a wonderful opportunity for me to create a piece of art outside of my genre.

“En Memoria de mi Madre,
In Memory of My Mother”

For this exhibition, the figure of the pre-Hispanic Tzompantli (row or wall of skulls) and the Day of the Dead, was to be taken as a starting point for the artists.

I created this piece in memory of my mom who passed away in 2019. Since it was a new genre of art for me, I enjoyed the challenge of creating the piece but staying true to my artistic style.

Below is a Curatorial statement that Professor Denise Lugo has been so generous to write about my painting.

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The international art exhibition entitled “Tzompantli:  Reflexión Artística 2020” (or,  in. English)“Tzompantli:  Artist’s Reflections 2020” was coordinated by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City. This international exhibition was videotaped and dispatched to all Mexican Consulates globally.  Janell Mithani is a Southern California artist featured along with other international artists who are featured in this unique exhibition.

Janell’s painted “Catrina” Calvera entitled “In Memory of my mother, 2020″ displays her personal colorful aesthetic and creative lens. This canvas’s symbolic foundation is found in ancient Mexican skull symbolism historically tied to the “Tzompantli” (Aztec Skull rack, symbolizing the eternal cycle of life and death), which is reflected in the title of this exhibition. 

Historically speaking, the ancient Aztec-Mayan “Calaveras” (skull) imagery epitomized the spiritual, cultural, and fertility ancestor rituals. At the beginning of the 20th century, the artist Guadalupe Posada recycled such skeletal images to represent the everyday Mexican “magical” reality.

Janell Mithani’s Catrina Calavera is positioned in a frontal pose and painted within a colorful and bright palette outlined within a tightly linear fashion–Janell’s Catrina looks directly at us, the viewer. This linear painting also interweaves ancient Mesoamerican symbolism, depicting the ancient Mesoamerican hairless dog, a spiritual figure that guides the deceased into the underworld. This Catarina figure is beautifully depicted in symbiosis Monarch butterflies, another spiritual motif depicting a journey back to the heart of Mexico.

The artist’s ethereal painted brush is a loving paid homage to her mother and manifested by adding decorative mushrooms. This very colorful canvas functions as a visual embrace created with compassion, empathy, and love that is much needed and highly appreciated in 2020, with our world in the grips of life and death challenges.

Professor Denise Lugo
California State University, Channel Island
Art History Department
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Seventy Five pieces of art were created by artists internationally including 24 art pieces from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara artists.

The project was sponsored by the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE-Mexican Embassy) and Institutos de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME.)

The Exhibition was propsed and directed by Claudia Montero and Fernanda Alva Ruiz Cabañas, and organized by poet and artist Enedina Castañeda.

Also, Professor Denise Lugo wrote a beautiful curatorial statement for the exhibit which is at the beginning of the video. The website for the project is https://reflexionartistica.org/

Here is a link to the video on YouTube:

Proyecto Artístico Comunitario Internacional: Tzompantli Reflexión artística del año 2020. International Community Art Project: Tzompantli 2020 Artistic Introspection

The Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores and IME (Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior) in Mexico City have sent the video to Mexican embassies all over the world.

Prints of all of the artwork were assembled into an exhibition at the Mexican Consulate in Austin Texas and at the Mexican Consulate in Oxnard, California.

Consulado de Mexico en Austin, TX (Mexican Consulate in Austin, Texas)
Tzompantli Exhibition, Mexican Consulate, Oxnard, CA
Tzompantli Exhibiton, Consulado de Mexico en, Oxnard, CA

And here is my painting as it appears in the video.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my art journey!

I wish you an wonderful, creative day filled with JOY, Janell

New Tea Bag Dress Paintings

I have two new tea bag paintings I wanted to share with you.

“Kate,” 4″ x 4″ acrylic, recycled tea bag on canvas.

A gold and white dress painted on a tea bag, My process on this painting was painting on the teabag and then collaging it into the painted canvas.

gold and white dress painting on recycled tea bag
“Goldie,” 4″ x 4,” acrylic, recycled tea bag, on canvas.

On this painting I collaged multiple tea bags in layers as I painted on the canvas. Then I painted the dress over the entire canvas.

If you are interested, I have added these paintings to my online gallery store.

About my Tea Bag Paintings:
I love tea. My mother-in-law taught me to drink tea shortly after I met her. I usually have a cup as soon as I wake up and an afternoon cup between 3 and 5 pm. And maybe a few in between…:) I also love to recycle, so about a year ago I started saving my tea bags to use in my art.

Shortly after my mom passed away, I started painting a tea bag a day as a relaxing therapy in the mornings. Once I painted one, I was totally hooked! My subjects are mini dresses in “Every size, shape, color, and age,” fairy dresses, and other whimsical subjects that move me. My dress paintings are named in honor of strong women in my life who made an impression me and suffragettes. Once I have finished the tea bag painting, I paint a canvas to match, including all four sides of the canvas, and add the tea bag. All my paintings have a final UV protective coating. Each painting comes with an easel or you can easily hang it on the wall for display.

Thanks so much for your support and interest in my art.

Have a wonderful, creative day filled with joy, Janell

New Musical Mermaid Painting

WooHoo! I finished my mermaid painting!

The title of this piece is “Viola,” 24″ x 36,” acrylic on canvas.

This is one of my large scale paintings and it took me about three months to complete it. It is the first painting in my new series, “Musical Mermaids.” 

A close-up view.

I have been working on sketches for a while, and decided on this one for the first painting in the series. I was inspired from a discussion I had with a sweet little four year old girl who came with her mom to one of my fairy garden classes. After we discussed fairies for a bit, she asked me if I believed in mermaids. I said Yes! And I whispered to her that I think I AM one. Her reaction was priceless. 💖

I’m so excited to finish this painting!

I got started with painting the background .

I made a few changes through the process of sketch to painting as well as some changes mid-painting. Below are a few pictures of my painting process and the different stages of the painting.

I add pastel chalk to the back of my sketches to transfer the drawing into my painting once I have the background painted.
I transferred the sketch with light pink and white pastel chalk so I could see it on the dark ocean.
The beginning of blocking in the shapes of the mermaid.
I had fun with the sea shells in her hair. 😁

I am excited about this new series. I love music and listen to all types when I’m painting. I even played the violin for a few years in school. Fortunately for everyone’s eardrums, I gave it up in high school to have more time for visual arts. 😁

I worked on the sky and ocean more and changed up the waves.
I have to admit I’m loving turquoise skin!
I paint the title on the sides of my large paintings that are on gallery wrapped canvas. My daughter (my word girl) helped me with the title. I use one word titles most of the time.
A last look at the finished piece.

Thanks for sharing my art journey with me.  Are you a fan of mermaids?  Are you going to wear sea shells in your hair today?

Here’s a quick little video of my sketch and finished painting in my studio.

Have a wonderful, creative, day filled with joy! Janell

Happy International Fairy Day!

I just had to paint a fairy today of all days!

“BLUE”

I hope all your fairy friends are treating you well today. If you watch closely, you may see them out celebrating.

I’ve left a few tiny treats around the studio for all my fairy friends to celebrate today. 🧚‍♀️

I hope you have a wonderful, ✨magical✨ day, filled with joy, Janell

A New Mermaid Painting

This is a video I created and posted to my Instagram account of me painting. It is a new painting I have been working on for the past few months, “Viola.” It is the first painting in my new series, “Musical Mermaids.” I’ve actually been creating sketches for this series for about a year, but this is the first chance I have had to create one as a painting.

I sped up the video with the app InShot. Ha! I wish I painted that fast! 🙂

Here is the original sketch, although it has changed a bit through the painting process.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and view my art process. I hope to finish this painting this week, so I will post a photo of the final painting next week.

Have a wonderful, creative day filled with joy, Janell

New Online Art Store Open and Giveaway on IG

YAY!!  Today is the day!

My online art store is OPEN! You can find it under the SHOP link on my website.

If you would like to visit, please do and let me know what you think!

“Veronica,” 4″ x 4,” Mixed media on canvas (Giveaway Contest on Instagram)

To celebrate the opening, I am running a giveaway for my painting “Veronica” over on Instagram. The Giveaway lasts from today thru Tuesday, June 9th, 2020.  I will announce the winner on Wednesday, June 10th on my Instagram feed.  Head over to IG for my instructions on how to enter.

veronica tea bag painting by janell mithani

“Veronica,” 4″ x 4″ Recycled tea bag and mixed media on canvas.

About my Tea Bag Paintings:
I love tea. My mother-in-law taught me to drink tea shortly after I met her. I usually have a cup as soon as I wake up and an afternoon cup between 3 and 5 pm. And maybe a few in between…:) I also love to recycle, so about a year ago I started saving my tea bags to use in my art.

Shortly after my mom passed away, I started painting a tea bag a day as a relaxing therapy in the mornings. Once I painted one, I was totally hooked! My subjects are mini dresses in “Every size, shape, color, and age,” fairy dresses, and other whimsical subjects that move me. My dress paintings are named in honor of strong women in my life who made an impression me and suffragettes. Once I have finished the tea bag painting, I paint a canvas to match, including all four sides of the canvas, and add the tea bag. All my paintings have a final UV protective coating. Each painting comes with an easel or you can easily hang it on the wall for display.

Thanks so much for your support and interest in my art.

Have a wonderful, creative day filled with joy, Janell

How to Easily Transfer a Sketch to a Painting Surface

I had a fellow artist ask me about how I transfer my sketches to my painting surfaces. After trying to explain it, I decided to make a little video.

There are many ways to do this, but during these times of staying home, this low-tech process is easy to do with just a pencil, piece of charcoal and paper.

Click on the link below to watch the short video:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UoXNFU145nxKQkHU9

I think it’s so interesting how everyone has a different creative process. Some things I have changed over the years, either to utilize new technology or work smarter, but many of my processes have stayed the same.

I am sure I am not alone when it comes to adapting your creative process to your environment and tools the tools at hand.

Have a wonderful, joyful and creative, day – Janell

Online Art Store is Opening Soon!

I have been working on adding an online gallery store to my website these past few months and I am getting ready to open it this week on, Friday, June 5th! YAY!

If you have browsed my website lately, you will have seen a new button “Shop” with a notice that says “Coming Soon!”

Well, soon is almost here!

“Mary Helen,” Tea Bag Paintings Series, 4″ x 6,” Mixed Media on canvas, $59

 

I will be announcing new art on my Instagram and my monthly newsletter.  If you enjoy my art and you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, now would be the time to do it! 😁

grace three vintage dresses painting

Grace, acrylic on canvas, 10″ x 10,” $235

I have been showing my art at brick and mortar galleries, gift shops, and art shows, but this will be the first time I have my fine art paintings for sale online. I am so excited to be making my work more easily available.

So, what will be available in my online gallery store?

Lush Trees, acrylic on canvas, 10″ x 10,” $235

I will have original paintings on canvas, paintings on natural wood slabs and burls, my new mixed media recycled tea bag paintings, and maybe a few surprises!

tea bag painting of vintage dress by Janell Mithani

Betty, mixed media on canvas, 4″ x 4,” $39.99

 

 

 

 

I will be adding new paintings every week and I will continue to post about my art process here on my blog.

fairy and deer painting on wood slab by janell mithani

Friends, Acrylic on wood slab with natural bark edge, 8.5″ x 9,” $189

To celebrate, I am planning a giveaway of a painting on Instagram over the weekend. If you would like to follow me on Instagram and Facebook , click on these links.

Well, I better get back to painting. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read about my art journey.

Have a wonderful, creative day filled with joy, Janell

Fire Painting

This is my newest painting in my Wildish Spirit series. I was inspired to paint this after all of the fires in California and Australia.

I started thinking about it when we had fires here in California last year. Then a friend of mine, who lives in Australia, had to evacuate from her home twice this last Fall. So I thought I would create a painting of one of my forest spirits rescuing animals from both Australia and California to honor all the animals that were lost in the wild fires.

This is my original sketch for the painting. I enlarged it on a copy machine.

Animal rescue from fire painting by Janell Mithani

This is the background of the painting.

Here are a few in-process photographs.

Almost complete…

Fire in california and Australia painting by Janell Mithani

And here is a close up of the character and animals in the painting.

Sweet Animal Paintings

In February, I had an event where I had a display of my art and fairy gardens for sale. Since I had recently had a couple commissions for baby animal paintings, I thought it would be a good idea to create a few small animal paintings for the event.

Do you have a favorite animal?

Here they are all together.

I have really enjoyed creating these sweet little animal paintings. I hope they brought a smile to your face.

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day! Janell