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Work Samples

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Janet Maher, Prayer for the Earth #2, 2020
Prayer for the Earth #2, 2020, limited edition digital print from original, altered mixed media drawing; 12" x 14.684"

Prayer for the Earth #1

Janet Maher, Prayer for the Earth #1, 2020
"Prayer for the Earth #1", 2020, limited edition digital print on archival Fine Art paper, from an altered original mixed media drawing; 12" x 16.068"

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Janet Maher, Chance #1, 2020
Chance #1, 2020, collage drawing, paper, colored pencils, ink marbling; image:8.35" x 9.67"

Origin#2.fxd_.jpg

Janet Maher, Origin #2
Mixed media drawing, heat set copier toner with gouache wash and collage, completed with colored pencils; image size: 15" x 10 7/8”; matted and framed 22” x 17”

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About Janet

Baltimore City

Janet Maher's picture
Proprietor of Circlegarden Studio, in Westerly, Rhode Island, and Professor Emeritus of Art from Loyola University Maryland, Janet Maher works in and has taught many disciplines over the decades. Her prints, drawings, bookworks, collages, assemblages, digital images, works in clay and multiple forms of mixed media have been widely exhibited and are in many private and public collections. She has also published two scholarly books. She has returned her focus to Works on Paper and Book Arts,... more

Prayers for the Earth

One of the things I do is marble paper. Intrigued by papers that seemed imperfect for use in book arts, I saw the possibilities of drawing into the swirls to enhance the organic forms that were suggested. After drawing into the marbling, I scanned the papers and made symmetrical framing devices with them using Adobe Photoshop. After having a single sheet of each printed on archival fine art paper, I completed the images with additional hand-drawn imagery, enhancing the results with colored pencil. The three Prayers for the Earth images included here are limited edition digital prints based upon the original drawings, which I further adjusted and reduced in size before having them printed.

  • Maher.Prayer2.12.14.684.jpg

    Janet Maher, Prayer for the Earth #2, 2020
    "Prayer for the Earth #2", 2020, limited edition digital print on archival Fine Art paper, from an altered original mixed media drawing; 12" x 14.684"
  • Prayer1.LightEdge.jpg

    Janet Maher, Prayer for the Earth #1, 2020
    "Prayer for the Earth #1", 2020, limited edition digital print on archival Fine Art paper, from an altered original mixed media drawing; 12" x 16.068"
  • Prayer3UpdateFinal.12coloredge.jpg

    Janet Maher, Prayer for the Earth #3, 2020
    "Prayer for the Earth #3", 2020, limited edition digital print on archival Fine Art paper, from an altered original mixed media drawing; 12" x 18.152"

Recent Mixed Media Collage Drawings

During the Pandemic I made collages with tiny pieces of left-over paper and shapes cut from my hand-marbled paper, composing and colorizing them with colored pencil and/or watercolor paint. I responded to each with no imposed rules, free of the need to tie them into any sequence of work, letting each take me wherever it seemed to direct me.
Simultaneous to the "Pandemic Poems" I was also doing exchange art with other artists, ultimately participating in the USPS Project. Doing the Pandemic collages led me to completely cutting up the “start” that Lori Niland Rounds sent me for the USPS Project, which resulted in my producing three additional small collages, using up every bit of the positive linework that had been in her image after cutting away all the negative space.
 

  • Maher.Chance1.2020.jpg

    Janet Maher, Chance #1, 2020
    Chance #1, 2020, collage drawing, paper, colored pencils, ink marbling; image:8.35" x 9.67"
  • Maher.Chance2.2020.jpg

    Janet Maher, Chance #2, 2020
    Chance #2, 2020, collage drawing, paper, colored pencils; image: 6.343" x 8.898"
  • PandemicPoem1.jpg

    Janet Maher, Pandemic Poem #1, 2020
    Pandemic Poem #1, 2020, mixed media collage on watercolor paper; image: 6 1/4” x 3 5/8”, matted 12” x 10”
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    Pandemic Poem #2, 2020
    Pandemic Poem #2, 2020, mixed media collage on watercolor paper; image: 5 1/4” x 3 7/16”, matted 12” x 10”
  • PandemicPoem4.jpg

    Pandemic Poem #4, 2020
    Pandemic Poem #4, 2020, mixed media collage on watercolor paper; image: 6 1/8” x 3 1/4”, matted 12” x 10”
  • PandemicPoem5.jpg

    Janet Maher, Pandemic Poem #5
    Pandemic Poem #5, mixed media collage drawing on watercolor paper; image: 5 5/16” x 4 7/16”, matted 12” x 10”
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    Janet Maher, Pandemic Poem #9, 2020
    Pandemic Poem #9, 2020,
  • PandemicPoem10.jpg

    Janet Maher, Pandemic Poem #10, 2020
    Pandemic Poem #10, 2020, mixed media collage drawing on watercolor paper; image: 5 3/4” x 4 3/4”, matted 12” x 10”
  • PandemicPoem12.jpg

    Janet Maher, Pandemic Poem #12, 2020
    Pandemic Poem #12, 2020, mixed media collage drawing on watercolor paper; image: 5 1/4” x 8 13/16”, matted 10” x 14”
  • PandemicPoem13.jpg

    Janet Maher, Pandemic Poem #13, 2020
    Pandemic Poem #13, 2020, mixed media collage on watercolor paper; image: 9 1/4” x 3 3/4”, matted 16” x 10”

USPS Project

Early in the Pandemic, Brooklyn, NY-based artist, Christina Massey, began to collaborate with her artist friends, each sending beginnings of works to each other to complete. In addition to trying to recapture a feeling of normalcy and maintain an art community connection during a time of isolation when the world was shut down, she was also doing a form of Mail Art. This time, however, the mailed art was intended to specifically support the Postal System while the former president was actively working to sabotage the system.
I was already going to the Post Office regularly to send off the many masks I was making for specific people (by now at least 100), I am a fan of Mail Art in general,  and I was as upset as Massey was about what was happening politically, so I decided to reach out to some people, and eventually to participate in her project. It turned out to be a saving grace for me during that time, and it helped me get back to my own work (in progress). The images here include a “start” from my artist friend with the result that I completed and sent to selected shows that Massey organized. 

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    Lyndie Vantine, Brush Strokes, ca. 1990s
    Lyndie Vantine sent me a silkscreen print of colorful brush strokes that she created in the 1990s.
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    Tangle, Janet Maher and Lyndie Vantine, USPS Project, 2020
    I added a tangle of lines and drew into the brush strokes using colored pencil. This was exhibited at Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY, and Ely Center for Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT.
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    Patti Tronolone, Step I, 2020 (no image of original)
    Patti Tronolone gave me a watercolor start, one side of which I cut and attached to its opposite side on watercolor paper. There is no image of the origninal before cutting. She also created a collage from small starts that I gave her, but did not participate in the exhibition portion.
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    Maher and Tronolone, USPS Project, 2020
    I drew into Patti's washes with pastels and charcoal pencil. After creating the new drawing, I cut the image an additional time, remounting the left side form onto foam core to create a dimensional difference. This was exhibited at Pelham Art Center (and was purchased).
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    Lori Niland Rounds, "start", ca. 1990s
    Lori Niland Rounds sent me this portion of a block print she created ca. 1990s. She folded it up like a "fortune telling game", the way I had done with the image I sent.
  • PandemicPoem6.jpg

    Maher, Pandemic Poem #6, responding to and with the work of Lori Niland Rounds
    This was the first of three collages I created after removing the negative space from Rounds' print. It was meant to be exhibited at Ely Center for Contemporary Art, but due to an accidental snafu it was not hung.
  • PandemicPoem7.jpg

    Maher, Pandemic Poem #7, responding to work of Lori Niland Rounds
    This is the second of three collages I made with the positive material from Lori Niland Rounds' print. It was exhibited at Sunset Art Studios, Dallas, TX.
  • PandemicPoem8.jpg

    Maher, Pandemic Poem #8, responding to work of Lori Niland Rounds
    This is the third of three collages I made with the positive material from Lori Niland Rounds' print, using up the remaining small pieces. It turned into some kind of bird. It was exhibited at Sunset Art Studios, Dallas, TX.

Gaia

According the the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the name of the ancient Greek earth goddess, Gaia, which came to mean earth, evolved further in 1972 to:

"the hypothesis that the living and nonliving
components of earth function as a single system
in such a way that the living component regulates
and maintains conditions (such as the temperature
of the ocean or composition of the atmosphere) so
as to be suitable for life; also: this system regarded as
a single organism."

As the planet is now fully immersed in the Anthropcene period, I choose to create abstract art images that can be interpreted at both micro and macro levels. I am responding to what captivates my waking thoughts regarding the dilemma of humans’ impact upon the earth. Within the overarching theme, Gaia, I work in several ways with toner-based mixed media images. I call my mixed media drawings "Origin" and my transfer and mixed media prints are "Specimen".  "Petrie" are small mixed media drawings that began as residue elements from "Origin" then served as the basis for larger "Specimen" works, several works in each grouping, a sample of each included here.

  • Gaia-Origin#3.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Origin #3 ©2018 Janet Maher, mixed media collage drawing, heat-set toner, completed through drawing with colored pencils and graphite; framed 22" x 17"
    Gaia: Origin #3 ©2018 Janet Maher, mixed media collage drawing, heat-set toner, completed through drawing with colored pencils and graphite; framed 22" x 17"
  • Origin#2.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Origin #2, ©2018 Janet Maher, mm collage drawing; heat-set toner, completed through drawing with colored pencils and graphite; image: 14 3/4" x 10 7/8"; framed 17" x 22"
    Gaia: Origin #2, ©2018 Janet Maher, mm collage drawing; heat-set toner, completed through drawing with colored pencils and graphite; image: 14 3/4" x 10 7/8"; framed 17" x 22"
  • Gaia.Speciman2.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Specimen #2 ©2018 Janet Maher, wintergreen oil transfer print with drawing; image abt. 9.5", matted and framed 16" sq.
    Gaia: Specimen #2 ©2018 Janet Maher, wintergreen oil transfer print with drawing; image abt. 9.5", matted and framed 16" sq.
  • Spec.Feathersm.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Specimen #1, ©2018 Janet Maher, wintergreen oil transfer print with drawing; image abt. 9.5", matted and framed 16" sq.
    Gaia: Specimen #1, ©2018 Janet Maher, wintergreen oil transfer print with drawing; image abt. 9.5", matted and framed 16" sq.
  • Spec.Record.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Specimen #3, ©2018 Janet Maher, wintergreen oil transfer print with collage and drawing; image abt. 9.5", matted and framed 16" sq.
    Gaia: Specimen #3, ©2018 Janet Maher, wintergreen oil transfer print with collage and drawing; image abt. 9.5", matted and framed 16" sq.
  • Spec.Face2_.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Specimen #4 ©2018 Janet Maher, mixed media drawing, collage on printmaking paper, matted and framed 16" sq.
    Gaia: Specimen #4 ©2018 Janet Maher, mixed media drawing, collage on printmaking paper; image abt. 9.5"; matted and framed 16" sq.
  • Petrie3.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Petri #2 © 2018 Janet Maher; mixed media drawing, heat-set toner, gouache wash, colored pencils, mounted on wood, 4" diameter x 1/4"
    Gaia: Petri #2 © 2018 Janet Maher; mixed media drawing, heat-set toner, gouache wash, colored pencils, mounted on wood, 4" diameter x 1/4"
  • Petrie5.fxd_.jpg

    Gaia: Petri #5 © 2018 Janet Maher; mixed media drawing, heat-set toner, gouache wash, colored pencils, mounted on wood, 4" diameter x 1/4"
    Gaia: Petri #5 © 2018 Janet Maher; mixed media drawing, heat-set toner, gouache wash, colored pencils, mounted on wood, 4" diameter x 1/4"

Mapping The Invisible

Metaphorical thinking regarding concealed and revealed macro/micro forms sparked open-ended questions and a new chapter in my artwork. A collaboration opportunity brought me together with Dr. Jocelyne DiRuggerio, a research biologist at Johns Hopkins. I enjoyed working with her material so much that after the exhibition I wanted to continue the series. I used digital technology initially to enlarge 1" artifacts from research papers of  DiRuggerio and her team regarding their examinations of microscopic subterranean life in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Using Adobe Photoshop to strip away value and enlarge thumbnail details I was able to alter and transform their original structures into abstract mixed media drawing/paintings. They include various combinations of gouache, watercolor, chalk pastel and charcoal, the last of this group also containing material of my own (specifically lithographic toner wash tests).  Having been immersed photographically and digitally for the last decade, it was refreshing to return to my first love, drawing, through this project.

After creating works in my ongoing Gaia series, I revisited and updated some of the Mapping the Invisible images during summer, 2018.

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    Mapping the Invisible#4, Redux: Endolithic Cells ©2018 Janet Maher; gouache, watercolor, white gesso and pencils on transparent gesso over altered and collaged digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper, w/assemblage; Image: 13 3/8" x 13.5" x .75"
    Mapping the Invisible#4, Redux: Endolithic Cells ©2018 Janet Maher; gouache, watercolor, white gesso and pencils on transparent gesso over altered and collaged digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper, w/assemblage; Image: 13 3/8" x 13.5" x .75"
  • MTI.Ire6in.jpg

    Mapping the Invisible#5 Redux: Ignimbrite Microbials ©2018 Janet Maher, gouache, watercolor, white gesso and pencils on transparent gesso over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper, w/assemblage. Image: 13 ¾” x 12” x .75"
    Mapping the Invisible#5 Redux: Ignimbrite Microbials ©2018 Janet Maher, gouache, watercolor, white gesso and pencils on transparent gesso over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper, w/assemblage. Image: 13 ¾” x 12” x .75"
  • MapInvis7.1920.jpg

    Mapping the Invisible #7: Altered Extracellular Polysaccharides ©2016, transparent gesso over altered digital image with collaged toner lithography, charcoal, gouache, various pencils; matted and framed 21" x 20"
    Mapping the Invisible #7: Altered Extracellular Polysaccharides ©2016, transparent gesso over altered digital image with collaged toner lithography, charcoal, gouache, various pencils; matted and framed 21" x 20"
  • Mapping the Invisible #8: Tilo Rhyolite Colonization

    Mapping the Invisible #8: Tilo Rhyolite Colonization ©2016, transparent gesso over altered digital image with collaged toner wash prints, pastel, gouache, various pencils, mounted on printmaking paper; matted and framed 21" x 20"
    Mapping the Invisible #8: Tilo Rhyolite Colonization ©2016, transparent gesso over altered digital image with collaged toner wash prints, pastel, gouache, various pencils, mounted on printmaking paper; matted and framed 21" x 20"
  • MTI.6.1920.jpg

    Mapping the Invisible #6: Endolithic Halites ©2016, transparent gesso over altered digital image with collaged toner lithography, charcoal, gouache, various pencils, mounted on printmaking paper; image: 13 ¾” x 13 ½”; matted and framed 21” x 20”
    Mapping the Invisible #6: Endolithic Halites ©2016, transparent gesso over altered digital image with collaged toner lithography, charcoal, gouache, various pencils, mounted on printmaking paper; image: 13 ¾” x 13 ½”; matted and framed 21” x 20”
  • MTH4Redux5..jpg

    Mapping the Invisible#4, Revisited: Chasmoendolithic Habitats ©2018 Janet Maher; gouache and various pencils on transparent gesso over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper, w/metal and image assemblages; Image: 15.25" x 15 3/8" x 1"
    Mapping the Invisible#4, Revisited: Chasmoendolithic Habitats ©2018 Janet Maher; gouache and various pencils on transparent gesso over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper, w/metal and image assemblages; Image: 15.25" x 15 3/8" x 1"
  • MTI2.Redux5in.jpg

    Mapping the Invisible: Chasmoendolithic Habitats #2 ©2018 Janet Maher, gouache, watercolor, white gesso and pencils on transparent gesso over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper w/assemblage. Image: 11 1/8" x 11.25" x .75"
    Mapping the Invisible: Chasmoendolithic Habitats #2 ©2018 Janet Maher, gouache, watercolor, white gesso and pencils on transparent gesso over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper w/assemblage. Image: 11 1/8" x 11.25" x .75"
  • MappingTheInvisible: Chasmoendolithic Habitats #1

    Mapping the Invisible: Chasmoendolithic Habitats #1  ©2016, watercolor, white gesso and pencils over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper; image: 11 1/8" x 11.25"; matted and framed 16.25” square
    Mapping the Invisible: Chasmoendolithic Habitats #1 ©2016, watercolor, white gesso and pencils over altered digitized image, mounted on printmaking paper; image: 11 1/8" x 11.25"; matted and framed 16.25” square

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Janet's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.