Bill Janssen, Denver, Colorado
I am Bill Janssen from Denver, Colorado.
I am a self-taught painter. Self-taught in that my father taught me and he was self-taught. I have been drawing and painting, and making photographs for fifty years. I have a BA in history, trained at music conservatory, and have played music professionally.
I often use primary colors, familiar images (doors, windows, umbrellas, geometric shapes, etc.) and the impasto in watercolor lends a texture to the paintings not often found in the watercolor medium. Depth. I find it refreshing. They are colorful, joyful, whimsical, serious representations of positive possibilities.
I use watercolors. They give me many options: light, diffused, opaque backgrounds with thick, impasto-style knobs of paint give the depth and texture I look for. My materials remain really quite simple: paper, brush, paint.
In the postcards series made in 2020-21, the works were sent through the US mail, handled by several people en route, and so the delivery medium adds an element of indeterminacy outside the normal way of viewing art. Many people see the work before it (hopefully) makes it to the intended recipient. I benefit from their feedback and surprise. There is also the chance element that the work never does reach its recipient, and that’s also part of the excitement of this project for me.
My hope with each painting is to make something with quality attention that was not there before. These paintings exist in part to achieve a state of relative awareness for myself. They are autobiographical in that subjects are imprints from my memory. The geometric abstractions, doors, windows, umbrellas, fans, hats, are working towards a synthesis of my past. They are what drive my art. — Bill Janssen, July 2021