Janice Byer


 Who is the Artist?

I learned to draw at a very young age after watching artist Jon Gnagy’s ‘Learn to Draw’ TV show.  The pencil was my best friend and crayons opened me to the amazing world of color.  My career as an Artist was decided on by age 5.  By age 9 I took oil painting classes, continued oil painting through high school.  Then studied illustration and drawing at Paier School of Art in Hamden, CT, was awarded a scholarship to the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, CA where I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, taught ‘Figure Drawing’ and ‘How to Draw’ in my studio for several years.


Why Watercolor?

I don’t believe that there is another medium that can create the magic that watercolor can. Gouache and Acrylic are also water-based paints.  Gouache is dense and Acrylic are opaque, both beautiful mediums yet I prefer the transparency of Watercolor.  Another element that adds character to watercolors is the paper itself.  ‘Hot Press’ paper is smooth and ‘Cold Press’ is rough.  I usually work with ‘Cold Press’ on my originals to let the texture of the paper add a new dimension to the piece.  Yes, watercolors are delicate and soft yet this 3-D elements adds life to the painting.

I Love to Play in Dirt!

You will notice fine line details and splashes of color in my watercolors.  When working with oil paint I am more classically driven but with watercolor I love to let the medium express itself.

When painting outdoors (Plein Aire) I will use twigs, thorns and hard-edged leaves to paint with instead of the brush.  Creating paintings of nature while using it is truly an amazing experience and watercolors are a joy to work with.