The Heroine’s Journey of Janet Vanderhoof

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  

My favorite part of creating is the moment when I feel I disappear and that something greater has taken over. One time I actually felt myself out of body and watched myself paint. That was crazy but I receive glimpses of it often and most of the time I am in my work so deeply, it’s as if I am in a meditation in motion.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?  

I don’t believe in perfect happiness. I am fortunate to always have an undercurrent of joy in my life. I believe this is because of my many years of spiritual seeking and searching. My son Blake who was born with Down syndrome helped me discover this.

What is my greatest fear? 

My greatest fear is losing my loved ones.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? 

Being judgmental.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? 

I really admire Mitchell Johnson. He is one of the first artists that I have known that not only is a great artist, but also a great marketer. He understands that you don’t have to be a starving artist.

What is my greatest extravagance?  

Going to the beauty salon, I’m a Taurus and love luxury.

On what occasion would I lie?

My problem is I don’t lie enough. I’m a very honest person and it gets me in trouble. I would say it might be good to tell a white lie or two.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?  

I dislike that I don’t have enough time to explore and that responsibilities pull me away.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?  

Now, I have been painting for the last 28 years, and I finally feel I have enough technical ability to express myself creatively without it being too much of an effort.

If I could, what would I change about myself? 

Being Catholic I have been brought up with a lot of guilt, which I would gladly love to forget and change.

What is my greatest achievement in work? 

My greatest achievement was to complete three challenges consecutively: In 2012 I completed 52 paintings in one year and in 2013 and 2014 I completed 20,000 square inches each year. It was great to be that productive. The more paintings I painted the more I sold.

Where would I most like to live? 

I finally love where I live, Morgan Hill, CA. I lived hear since 1980. At first I thought it was too remote, but now I have come to treasure the beauty and peace it allows me.

What is my most treasured possession?

I try not to be attached to material things. Recently my wedding ring became damaged. That hurt for a while, but it is just a symbol. We have had so many fires in California, I couldn’t imagine losing my home.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I’m a great problem solver.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?  

My view outside my bedroom window is my most inspirational and spiritual location. When I sit in my sacred place overlooking the spectacular “Paradise Valley” I am immediately transported to another realm.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I believe Willard Hicks Grill will be my new favorite. I usually go out of town to San Martin and eat at Cordevalle.

What books influenced my life and how?

Eckhart Tolle’s “New Earth” helped me live in the moment and prevent a lot of suffering caused by my ego. “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield helped me change my painting habits, by not waiting for inspiration. Inspiration comes when you create. The most empowering of all the books was “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers. This book helped me realize when I was going through the dark night of the soul that I was experiencing the call of the Heroes journey.

Who are my favorite writers?

I don’t have any in particular, but I do love nonfiction vs. fiction and mostly self-discovery books. I believe I am lead to read certain books and they take me on a journey to read another.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

On my last day perhaps I would listen to music by Ennio Morricone, or John Barry’s Out of Africa, but then I might not stop crying.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? 

My heroine is Trinity from the Matrix. A strange experience happened to me trying to figure this out. In my search, my gut feeling said Trinity. I really didn’t know why until I found this: “The name “Trinity” is heavily associated with Christian theology, which involves the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When she cracks the IRS database before her release from the Matrix she chooses the hacker “Trinity” to imply that she is as enigmatic as the concept of a “Three-in-One Being”.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Joseph Campbell, Eckhart Tolle, Lyn Slater (Accidental Icon) and Helen Mirren.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Forrest Gump

What role does art play in my life and work?

It connects me to my soul and allows it to speak.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, and partner in crime?

My husband of 41 years is my greatest supporter.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018?  

In the last two years I took some time off to take workshops to improve my craft with Melinda Cootsona, Martin Campos, Pauline Agnews and Karen Kaapcke. It’s time now to digest, integrate and assimilate all that I have learned.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2018?

Alexander Kanevsky and Antrese Wood.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? 

I’m looking forward to building a new Cold Wax and oil series in landscape as well a series using the female figure only.

Where can you see my work or me in 2018?


Facebook business page:


What do the words “Passion Never Retires” means to me? 

For me it means that true love does not die. My love for my art is authentic and every part of my being. I couldn’t live healthily without it. The best part about being an artist is I will never have to retire.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Karen Kapaacke, Melinda Cootsona and Antrese Wood.

How can you contact me?

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