Award-winning realtor Janet Lawless Christ, sponsor of this year’s Arts Alive banners in Leucadia, is an artist herself. An oil painter, she drew on our local surroundings as inspiration for her own banner this year; which features puffy clouds, pink and purple hills, and beautiful eucalyptus tree. A few year’s back, Janet decided to start painting again — about the same time she decided to start living life on her own terms — and she hasn’t looked back since, “Art is my form of meditation and unbridled joy." Read on to learn more about this inspired (and inspiring) local artist.
Leucadia 101: Tell us about the inspiration behind your Arts Alive banner.
Janet Lawless Christ: I love the song lyrics that say “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it...”. And in my eyes we truly do live in paradise. I always try to notice, appreciate and embrace the colors, textures, breezes and beauty of all our vistas!
Describe your artistic method.
My style is fast and energetic. I liken my method of painting to playing jazz music. I start with a concept and then I improvise as I get carried away with my visual melody. I don’t obsess over trying to make everything look exactly like what I see. A photograph can do that. I want to feel the pulse and the mood of the colors and let them song!
How long have you been painting?
I started painting when I was a tot. Yet sadly as I became an adult I listened to the negative comments from naysayers as well as the critical thoughts in my head saying that I was wasting valuable money-earning time being creative. So I stopped painting. A couple years ago I decided to start living life on my own terms. I returned to painting and even trying (not so successfully so far) to learn how to play the ukulele.
What is it about our North County coastal surroundings that inspire you to make art?
North County’s coastal region is bursting with joyous visual candy if one simply takes the time to appreciate it! Coming over a bluff on my way to the grocery store and encountering the briny blue Pacific in all its moods never ceases to thrill me. Watching the sun change color while it set through the eucalyptus trees is a dazzling daily gift. I could go on and on!
In your eyes, what role does art play in a community?
Art is the heart and soul of a community. It elevates humanity and encourages us all to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. It stimulates conversation. And through conversation communities, like people, can become their best selves.
Who are some of your local inspirations in the art scene?
I am inspired by anyone and everyone who lets their light shine and creates without the fear of criticism.
You're a real estate agent by day, where does art fall into your life?
Art is my form of meditation and unbridled joy. One of the many reasons I like acrylic and oil painting is that it truly allows me to cover up any “mistakes” with something more beautiful. That’s something that I love to think we all can learn from. Make a mistake? No problem. Just apply some beauty, laugh and move on!