Monday, September 28, 2009

Feature: Cheryl & Janet Snell Day 2

After Schiele © Janet Snell

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Janet's Day 2 Q&A

Do you ever run out of room to store your paintings & supplies? (Elaborate)

Yes, the stuff in my studio at home has spilled out into the spare bedroom and the garage, besides the pieces on the walls.

How long have you done collaborations with your sister & how do you think that affects your art?

After my first book of drawings and text, FLYTRAP, came out, my sister started to make poems to accompany my art. We began to publish these in lit journals and decided to keep going until we had enough material for a new book. I think in images and she can extend the metaphor with words, so our collaboration works like two takes on a similar idea. It’s not one art explaining the other. We each retain our own voice, but we also have a shared sense of melancholy.

Describe the area you create in.

It’s a converted bedroom in the house. I like to have my studio in my living space. I like a short commute.

Do you have any rituals or a set process you go through to prep yourself to paint? If so what are they?

Reading something full of images like Genet or Kerouac, or listening to music gets me in the mood.


  1. like the combination! art and words that make us think :)

  2. Not being familiar with Schiele, I left a one-word impression. Then I got to wondering. So I did some reading about Egon Schiele. Fascinating stuff. I'm surprised I didn't know about this proto-Expressionist, since his era means so much to me. The time in which *The Magic Mountain* is set...the absurd convulsions during the Great War...the childhood reminiscences of Bruno Schulz...the dark, sensuousness of Scriabin's piano music. So many psychic shadows falling on Europe and Eastern Europe. Such a rich matrix for eruptions of unbridled, daemonic art!

    So the work before us "After Schiele" takes on layers of significance and sends the imagination off on tangents. I can't make out the vertical object on the right. Is that an upthrust arm? The meaning of this picture must have much to do with that strange form.

    But to the portrait: this woman looks iconic, like a Medieval nun. She wears the expression of one blasted by circumstance, yet determined to survive. She is indignant, and to hell with the prick who done her wrong. Who needs him?

    Is this Valerie (Wally) Neuzil, who Schiele abandoned when his free-loving spirit wafted toward the Harms sisters instead? Or perhaps, our figure is an archetype -- partly Wally and partly all women who have been left bitter but with head held high after shabby treatment.

  3. I too had to research Schiele - glad I did. Am intrigued and engaged by your art and now am also intrigued and engaged by what else I've stumbled upon as a result... not sure where the falling dominoes are taking me, but am enjoying the journey.

  4. Wow, what great comments! Thank you,fleuve-souterrain, Tim and John.

    This drawing is one of a series of about 30 (others can be found at use a figurative head in an abstract space to focus the relationship between the figurative and abstract elements. To let the viewer experience the psychology of the human figure, I connect the head to its surroundings with various spatial elements. They establish the psychological relationship between head and the space. I am especially interested in what happens when the space becomes an image, which I guess happened with the marks on the right that look like an arm. It's really just space.The drawing is not narrative and is meant only to convey an emotion, not a story.

    The face could be an archetype. Most women have felt like the subject looks, and I'm glad the general mood shows through.

    The connection to Schiele is in the way the eyes and nose cross. Schiele used that alot, and
    I wanted to try it.


  5. Thanks for the further info on the art... which I find very striking. Can't articulate the way the others have as to why. But the portrait is very compelling.

    I'm loving the interview questions as well. thanks.

    Chris Brooks

  6. Hi again.

    I think this woman is beautiful, and quite determined.


  7. Thanks Chris & Nanette. I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'm having fun too.