Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Richard and Janet Reed: Creating art that delights and dances with light

50 Artists: 50 Years of Art in Springfield
Celebrating arts and culture in our community

Featured in The Springfield Beacon (February 6, 2008)

By Todd Peterson

Springfield Beacon

Janet and Richard E. Reed
Creating art that delights and dances with light

In an old barn on the north bank of the McKenzie River, Janet and Richard Reed are creating art that delights the viewer – colorful mosaics, oil and acrylic paintings, and sculpture.

Richard does oil paintings that capture the character of the person, showing what “you never see” even if you know the person. He also creates sculpture from clay, wood, alabaster and river rock. Richard says “I love to “moosh’ malleable materials and want people to touch my pieces of sculpture and experience the delight I feel in creating them.”

Janet creates “textured light” mosaics from very small pieces of glazed tile and glass. She uses a wide range of colors, placing the tiny pieces with many dimensions in ways that create light and shadow. Janet says “I like to experiment with the play of light in my work.”

Richard and Janet Reed are creating delight for viewers of their art (and for themselves) as they enjoy the “dance of life” together as artists and partners.

Inspiration To Begin: As a young person, Janet thought about doing “rice and beans” mosaics but never did. In 1963 while in Florence, Italy she bought a small mosaic pin which she says may have influenced getting started with her art. Doing needlepoint and her love of small, detailed, colorful art inspires her creativity.

Richard traces his beginning in art back to carving a polar bear out of Ivory Soap to enter a contest in first grade. But he didn’t take drawing classes until he was in his 30’s. Then about 15 years ago, Richard began painting classes in which he found inspiration in the work of Leonardo da Vinci, the French and Dutch Impressionists, and some of Picasso’s work.

Important Mentors: Janet’s mentors have been the authors of books on mosaic art – Elaine Goodwin who wrote “Encyclopedia of Mosaics” and Sonya King’s “Mosaic Techniques and Traditions.” She loves Byzantine mosaics and the works of Velázquez, El Greco, and Murillo.

Richard’s important mentors have been Adam Grosowsky who he says has “intuitive courage” and Victoria Andrea Doria who taught him painting in the style of Leonardo da Vinci.

Value of Art in Life: Richard says his art has “given me courage to push the envelope of my experiences in my life. I’m having fun in my ‘old age’ sharing my art and writing about the art of aging on my blog (www.artofaging.blogspot.com).

Janet’s art is a form of “meditation, allowing me to loose myself as the concentrated, detailed work pulls me closer to my center.”

Their Artists' Legacy: “I never thought people would buy my work,” says Janet, “but I’ve sold nearly everything I’ve created. Like being a teacher who never knows how far their words will go in their student’s lives, an artist never knows how their art will impact people who see it. I hope my art will give people something to think about, some new ideas and thoughts about life.”

For Richard, “just to have done it is enough.” He hopes people will see in his art that “you’re never too old to do new and interesting things.” And he hopes that his many pieces of art will find a good home … he laughs “maybe even snatched up by the art galleries of the world!”


"Bird of Paradise" by Janet Reed

"Looking for Love" by Richard E. Reed

About The Artists

Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY (Janet); Wautoma, WI (Richard)

Arts Education: Self-taught in Mosaics (Janet); LCC art classes with Adam Grosowsky and painting with Victoria Andrea Doria (Richard)

Media of Choice: Mosaics (Janet); Oil Painting (Richard)

Favorite Place to Do Art: In my studio in our old barn (Both)

Favorite Subjects To Paint: Landscapes, abstracts with color and shapes (Janet); People, landscapes, and abstracts (Richard)

Arts Organizations: Lord Leebrick Theater, Eugene Ballet (Janet); Maude Kerns Art Center, Playback Theatre, Writers Guild (Richard)

Current Shows: Downtown Athletic Club – March/April 2008; Full City Coffee – July 2008 (Both)

Contacts: For a studio showing, email: rreed@ram-mail.com

All art images and photos of the art are copyright of the artist.

"Pomegranate" by Janet Reed

"Birth of Hope" by Richard E. Reed