Janet Simmons Sweet, CFS - The Unapologetic Landscape,  Studio 204,  Alton Mill Arts Centre

Latest Artworks

January 16, 2018

2018 starts with the inception for the Years Collection. Thinking in black and white, with one very small accent in colour. And Turner or Constable may have their usual influence in the sky compositions. Working Title is "Defining Values", being a play on an artistic rule in painting, and the reference to one's life choices. Over the Niagara River.

12 x 12 in Oil on Canvas.

December 20, 2017

Rolling Times Two

Last piece for 2017! From the Rolling Hills close to the Mill about a month ago, with Rolling Clouds over it. It really is the most beautiful countryside in this area. Any drive on any day is always a show. 

12 x 36 , Oil on Canvas

November 26, 2017

Beyond the Pines

Lovely low light at this time is really enhanced through the plantation style pines that are scattered around this area. One of my favourite places on the way home.
Oil on Canvas 24 x 40

November 3, 2017

Treetops VI

All the other treetops paintings were done through fall leaves, exaggerating the effect of sunlight through them.  This one is now at the end of the fall, with the bare branches now exaggerating and framing the clouds behind them. No matter the "frame", it is always a lay on your back moment, and look to the sky! New texture mediums in oil are tested on this piece.
22 x 22, Oil on Canvas

October 19,2017

Storm on the Horizon

From the field leaving the Mill last month. Still thinking my way through a more refined version of this,  or decide if it has already captured that peaceful yet powerful feeling it evoked. 
30 x 48, Oil on Canvas

August 28, 2017


From a field near the Mill early spring this year. 

Oil on Canvas
22 x 22

August 20, 2017

Time to start a new idea! 
From the Alton Mill Pond using a palette knife.  Lilies, Flip, Flop. 
Oil on Canvas 18 x 40

August 6, 2017

The final piece begins. Exposé XII.
Now this tree is actually technically dead. (see my observation on Exposé IX!!)

It is however, a haven for a small ant colony, which I am certain is why I see a Flicker regularly in the same area. And of course, it is obvious that the same Pileated woodpecker as observed in Exposé IX, has been there. 
The sculpture formed in the wood of the trunk through age and weather, however, is what I found to best tell its story. I see dead trees in the area, that have been carved by people.  I think how this tree has evolved and carved out its own scars and victories.... is more interesting!

Oil glazing has begun. Still on think!
20 x 36 

July 23, 2017

Expose XI

The second last!  This is a real find. I was redirected to a new sideroad due to construction, and just about ran into this tree when I saw it! There is an actual whole with sun coming through. And because of this, encapsulated in the broken section is both moss and fungi. It is a secret micro ecosystem that only a few have found. 

Almost done. More light and contrast, and giving consideration to enhance the shaft of light. 

20 x 36 Oil and Mixed  Media on canvas 

June 15, 2017

Expose X- The Collection is getting close to the finish. Only two more to go!

This black fungus has wreaked havoc with the trunk on this Maple. The left side is stripped of bark, and in the "gulley" the fungus edges the remaining living bark to the right.  The tree itself, limbs and leaves, are currently in complete early spring glory. Apparently, the tree has simply accommodated its fate.

20 x 36 Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

June 4, 2017

Expose IX
This is the only trunk that I have chosen that is from a tree that would now be considered dead. The Pileated Woodpecker has had a hay day with it. But, that is not the end of the tree story, because, daily I observe that Pileated hopping from hole to hole as he has his breakfast. The tree's story does continue, as does its value, even in its current state.

 UPDATE JULY 31, 2017
I stand corrected!!! This tree is as healthy as any I have seen. Drove by this week to see how he was doing, and for the first time since I first noticed him last winter, I saw him in full glory. Leaves galore. 
Some refining and exaggeration of the texture to come!

20 x 36  Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

June 3, 2017

Expose VII

This trunk gave me a go for my patience. Just as it must have posed the same to the tree itself. The blue section is the remains of a limb, long since gone, with all of the bark forming a circle around the "wound" to heal and seal off the damage. Amazing feat of survival.

20 x 36  Oil on and Mixed Media on Canvas

May 24, 2017 

Expose VIII

This amazing tree trunk is from a River Birch. They have the most amazing colours in their bark, and it almost appears as though someone has torn off sections, and then left them partially attached to the tree.  This life story tells of a brilliant resilience in its constant decay.

20 x 36. Oil and Mixed Media on canvas  

April 15, 2017 

The next in the Expose Collection 

This is a maple tree near the Mill that has small goiters carving out a section in the trunk. All the bark around the area forms a circle around the little oddity. Lichens and moss have also moved in.

Think I have got all the definition needed, but maybe a tweak to the colour/lighting still to come.

20 x 36. Oil and Mixed Media on canvas

March 26, 2017

Expose Collection #V. The Polypores

This is a trunk of a yellow birch. 
I found her life story in the role it serves as a host for the polypores. They are this amazing arrangement of fungi which grew up the side, attaching themselves into little coves of the bark.  The complicated combination of moisture and filtered light over the seasons of her life.

20 x 36
Oil on Canvas (with multiple mediums)

March 6, 2017

Expose IV

Final?? This tree is on the way home from the Mill. It is an old maple, with the bottom section being a small, but definite goiter. It was this that first attracted my attention, but, as I began to paint it,  discovered the "eye"  to the top right! And then the cheek bone under it, and suddenly the goiter became her shoulder. This tree life story is evolving as I find a more human connection in her trunk.

20 x 36, Oil on Canvas (with multiple mediums)

February 15, 2017

Expose III  (2017 Collection)
Thinking my way through this one. It is from a silver birch that has a "river" running through it, banked by shattered bark paper. The tree itself is in excellent health, but the weathered sections tell of a life evolving in a stressful environment.

Oil on Canvas with acrylic mediums
20 x 36
Accepted Beaux-Arts Brampton 10th Open Juried Fine Arts Show March 2017

January 12, 2017

 Expose II, 2017 Collection

Finally!  Had a bit of a fight with this one, but think I might have captured all that texture with just a small section of lichens.

And the name is evolving as is the work!

This is the bottom section of the trunk from a maple tree. It is within feet of Expose I. The bark has been peeled away with age, exposing the weathered pulp inside.  Lichens and moss have found a home embedded in the exposure.

20 x 36

Oil on Canvas, Multiple mediums

December 4, 2016

The 2017 Collection begins! 
Number One of Twelve. Expose I
Up close and personal (current working title)

The exploration of a series of tree trunks that mesmerized me this summer.  They tell the life story of the tree to which they belong, while providing new life to lichens and fungi, insects and birds. The Collection will be hyper focused on a section of the trunk, highly textured and leaning toward abstraction. 

This tree trunk has revealed its life under the bark, hastened by the work of a pileated woodpecker, and enhanced by fungi on the edges. Amazing.

20 x 36 Oil on Canvas (Gels, beads and Gesso)

October 6, 2016 

Okay, I wasn't quite done with that fabulous view! One small version to help me get over the hump! 

From the Dock XIII- The Last Days

10 x 10, Oil on Canvas

August 27, 2016

From the Dock XII- The Final Piece

This is on the shoreline just to the right of the dock.  The colours are best seen through the moving water to obscured rocks just before noon on almost any day during the summer. It would be a micro of From the Dock VI, just much later in the day.

44 x 25 Oil on Canvas

Accepted Headwaters Arts Festival Juried Show  August 2017

August 5, 2016
From the Dock XI
The final painting of a total reflection of the sunset. This time it is directly (as opposed to opposite) from  the ridge where the sun actually sets. Just another spectacular evening this spring from the dock!  The Lake is a changing world that  mesmerizes one,  from morning to evening. 

Oil on Canvas 54 x 25
July 30, 2016
From The Dock X
This amazingly is a sunset in the water. It is from the ridge reflection where the sunsets in reflection of the water. The colours are so similar to the ones found in a sunrise! This one spot on the dock continues to be a surprise daily.
22 x 22 Oil on Canvas
July 17, 2016
From the Dock IX
Early morning in early spring when the sun has not yet reached the farest expanse to the left of the dock.  Full reflection with only a hint of the far away land.
22 x 22 Oil on Canvas
July 2, 2016
From the Dock VIII, Sunset Lake Rosseau 36 x 60 Oil on Canvas
The most amazing discovery I made about 10 years ago was to do a 180 degree view from any sunset or sunrise. Most often, there will be clouds opposite to it that capture the colours, and if you add water under them, they in turn reflect in the water.  Were it not for the missing sun in the view, one could easily envision the east as the west, or vice versa. This is a sunset from the dock, all water reflection with only the tiniest shoreline, that is the example. The sun rises with a full view over the bay every morning to the right and out to open water. At night, it sets to the left, but behind a ridge which actually blocks the view. BUT, the clouds that are above the water to the right, catch the light, and reflect it back into the water. Amazing. This is a sunset that I could not see on the horizon, but could see in the reflection of it through clouds and water. This is the second one in this series that is a sunset.
March 31, 2016
Solitary Moment
The trip home from the lake. Those fleeting moments that are charged with energy just before sunset, and illuminate a solitary idea.
Accepted to the
Colour and Form Society
Biennial Open Juried Show
The Papermill Gallery
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site
22 x 22 Oil on Canvas