The Heroine’s Journey of Janine Brown

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  
I love the opportunity to be able to explore different concepts and mediums. I find that 5 hours in the studio seems like 5 minutes.
 
What is my idea of perfect happiness?  
My idea of perfect happiness is being with people I enjoy, doing things I enjoy, and creating things that make people happy.
 
What is my greatest fear?  
Not being able to come up with ideas.
 
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?  
The trait I most deplore is jealousy and envy. I try hard to not compare myself with others who are more successful in their careers. It’s hard, but I think it’s part of the journey and helps us to become better artists.
 
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? 
Norma Minkowitz is a fiber artist that I know in Connecticut. I admire her for being able to elevate the craft of crochet to fine art. Her works are conceptual and beautifully crafted.  I also admire, Adrian Piper. Her works are clever and thought provoking.
 
What is my greatest extravagance?  
A studio outside my house.
 
On what occasion would I lie?  
If telling the truth might hurt someone’s feelings. I might not outright lie, but I would find a way to truthfully make a statement that protects their feelings without blatantly lying.
 
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? 
The thing I dislike most is when I like a piece of art that I’m working on, but think one more change will make it better and it just ruins the piece. It’s so hard to tell when to stop sometimes.

 


When and where was I the happiest, in my work?  
I was the happiest in my work recently when I completed an installation that I worked on for 4 years. I used crochet as the main medium for my installation, “The Wallflower at the Dance”. In January 2018, I created the installation in my studio for our Open Studios in Santa Monica, CA. Then, after moving across the country to Connecticut, I installed it in my new studio for Open Studios. It was so satisfying to have people enter the space and comment that the piece should be in a museum. It really made my year! This video tells a little bit about the installation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVwYT90GdZw
 
If I could, what would I change about myself?  
I would change my nose. Since I was young, kids in high school would say I had a beak nose. After college, I worked in the fashion industry and some of my co-workers and I would measure our noses with a tool that you measure buttons with called a button gauge. One of my co-workers changed her nose, but I have yet to attempt a nose job. The closest I have come is making a plaster cast of my face and carving a new less beak-like nose.Who knows? No pun intended! Maybe it will become a body of work!
 
What is my greatest achievement in work?  
My greatest achievement in my art is showing my work outside of the United States at the 
Museo Area Archeologica Arte Contemporanea in Cisternino, Italy.The show was curated by artist, Luigia Martelloni and reviewed in the Quotidiano di Puglia by Carmelo Cipriani.  My work was one of the photos featured in the review. http://janinebrownstudio.com/templatePages/bibImView.php?id=40&view=image
 
Where would I most like to live? 
I would love to live in New York City as well as Los Angeles. LA especially when it’s cold in NYC. That said, I do like exploring new cities and countries- so maybe an airplane would make a better home.
 
What is my most treasured possession?
My most treasured possessions are the photographs and memories of my father.  He died when I was 7 years old. But I have terrific memories of him – taking me out for doughnuts after getting a cavity filled. He would say – “Eat it on the other side of your mouth.” I have to say I would never do that with my kids – but it sure was fun having a parent that let me do it! I’m sure my mother would have disapproved if she knew.
 
What is my most marked characteristic?
I would being resourceful. If something needs to be done, I will find a way to do it.
 
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
The beach. When I was in Los Angeles, I would love going to the beach. The sound of the ocean waves helps me clear my head.  Now that I am in Connecticut, we are still close to the water, however, it is now the Long Island Sound.
 
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
My favorite place to eat is a small restaurant called “Bodega” in Fairfield, CT. They make the most delicious brussel sprouts and tacos. My favorite place to grab a drink is the restaurant “Pearl” in Westport, CT. It is located on the water – so it is a perfect place to get a glass of wine at sunset.
 
What books influenced my life and how?
When I was in college, I read a lot of Jane Austen books. I think I related to the strong women characters in the books.
 
Who are my favorite writers?
I have always enjoyed reading Oscar Wilde, Anaïs Nin, and Richard Bach. All very different writers.
 
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?
I would listen to Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits.
 
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? 
Mary Poppins is one of my favorite heroines. Her character was fun but firm.
 
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
I would have to say my parents.  My father was fun loving but hard working. He was a farmer – so he would wake up and be in the fields before the sun would rise and spend the day working in the fields.  Then in the Winter, he was always around to spend time with us. My mother was a strong woman.  When my father died, she stepped in to run the farms. Although she did not go into the fields, she learned about the commodities markets and when to buy futures and sell crops. Pretty extraordinary for a women who was a kindergarten teacher before she got married.  She also raised three kids as a single parent. Not an easy job.
 
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? 
It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. It shows that no matter how we feel – life just wouldn’t be the same without us in it.
 
What role art plays in my life and work?
I am a full time artist and mother – so I spend my weekdays in the studio and spend my evenings and weekends with the kids and my husband.  Art plays a large role in everything I do – whether it’s creating new work in the studio or putting ingredients together for a creative new dish for dinner.  I also have a very eclectic style – so our home combines different periods of furniture with art and objects that I have purchased from friends. I’ve tried to instill a love of art in my boys, but now that they are almost 18 (twins), it’s hard to get them to go to museums and art openings – but I never stop trying.
 
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My husband. It took him awhile to appreciate my abstract and conceptual work – but now – he’s a huge fan! 
 
Whom would I like to work with in 2018?
I would like to work with the curators at the Whitney Museum. 
 
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018?
Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz
 
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?
I am looking forward to starting a new project that is a commentary on fashion using fashion magazine paper pulp. 
 
Where can you see me or my work in 2018?
Arena 1 Gallery until December 2nd in the Between Two Seas/LA International exhibition curated by Luigia Martelloni; Westport Arts Center in December, Westport, CT and my studio in Bridgeport, CT. 
 
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
To me, the words “Passion never retires” means that people will continue to do what they are passionate about for their entire lives.  If your passionate about art, you will continue to do, learn about, or go see art until you die.
 
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Nina Bentley    https://www.facebook.com/nina.bentley1 and Norma Minkowitz http://www.normaminkowitz.com/ both in Westport, CT
 
How can you contact me?
janinekbr@gmail.com
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