By Viktoria Vidali
Knowledge is the spring of creative talent. As it expands, it engages the artist’s deeper self and flows into a river of new combinations and relationships, from the quest for peaceful pathways to powerful reflections in color, motion, and feeling.
This has been the profound personal experience of painter Janda Grove, native of Muskegon, Michigan, and now a resident of Ecuador. Janda’s extraordinary skill developed through a combination of fine-art education and spiritual practice. She studied painting with modern masters in California, Arizona, and Michigan, and closely examined the works of old masters in world museums, particularly those in Paris and London. For many years Janda has practiced meditation, yoga, and the Chinese martial arts. These, along with extensive ongoing travel in Latin America, unite to create her artistic vision of nature and culture in Ecuador.
Her daily painting practice generally focuses on subjects that interest or inspire her, but she also likes to paint in a way that is both nonrepresentational and textural, using the palette knife and organic, abstract forms that express the internal landscape of the heart, revealed through color and shape. These works can be seen on her website (select Experimental Work).
Add to this alchemy unique perceptions of unfamiliar places that an artist’s sensitivity notices, by way of contrast with her native United States, and Janda’s magnificent images of South America and its varied people will quickly capture your emotions and imagination.
Janda uses a palette of nine colors — three reds, three blues, three yellows (and white) — that, after refined mixing, result in classic colors, rich and harmonious with nature. Strong compositional lines and energetic brushwork also characterize her art.
Since 2002, Janda has given solo exhibitions and taken part in group showings in North and Central America.
After moving to Ecuador’s sierra region in 2012, Janda sponsored a community art project, taught privately, and exhibited her paintings at La Mirage Spa and Opera Design in Cotacachi.
In addition to living and painting in Cotacachi, Janda has recently opened a studio space in the new Four Rivers Center for the Arts (Sucre 13.12 y Juan Montalvo) in Cuenca. She spends part of her time painting in Cuenca, and will exhibit through studio events and at La Mansion Alcazar for special occasions. She is currently seeking other exhibition venues in Cuenca. You may also arrange studio visits or private or semi-private classes by emailing her for an appointment.
News of Janda’s forthcoming exhibition in Cuenca will be announced here in the coming months.