EDUCATION: MAJOR FIELDS: Fine Arts. University of California, Davis. 1978-81. Sierra College, Rocklin, CA. 1974-1977.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: National Watercolor Society (NWS) - Signature Member. American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) - Signature Member.
Janet’s professional art career spans forty years of fine art painting and commercial illustrating. She has exhibited in over seventy exhibition venues including one person shows, group shows, and juried competitions in museums, arts organizations, and galleries, and has won many awards for her watercolors and oils. She is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, as well as, the American Society of Marine Artists. While she resided in Oregon, she was a juried member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon. She has been featured in publications such as American Artist, US Art, and Wildlife Art News. Her paintings are in many private and public collections which include the Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona; the Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wisconsin; the Bennington Center for the Arts, Vermont, plus other noteworthy museums. She has also won international awards for her illustrations, and her list of clientele includes noted companies such as 20th Century Fox, Black Bear Diner, and Sirius Software.
When I had advanced cancer twelve years ago, I changed my perception of reality and saw how the power and complexity of every thought, action, and, thus, every work of art created, in turn, creates what we want in the world.
The reason I choose Nature as the inspiration for my art is because it represents how I want my world to be – beautiful, creative, honest, and harmonious. I do not want to add to our destructive human story - a tragedy unfolding and reinforced by contemporary, dystopic expressions. On the contrary, I want people to be inspired, curious, and grateful; and my preferred way to do this is to allure them with Nature's brilliant creativity, awe inspiring beauty, and miraculous forces.
I choose realism to pursue this goal because it is easily understood, and it compliments the subject matter I choose. For instance, when I paint a tree realistically, I learn about it's adaptation and whether it was ravaged or nourished by nature. That tree writes its history through the way it has grown and adapted, and if I take the time to fully observe that tree, I will learn about these things and can share them through my art. Thus, I help others gain subtle, deep learning of the unfolding mysteries of Nature.
My art may appear simple on the surface but within its depths lie the deeper meaning – create what you want to see in the world. I choose beauty, curiosity, and love.
My love of Nature is because I am often involved with it. I am an avid outdoor explorer, so whether I hike, ski, bike, sail, or kayak, my art is driven by my explorations; thus, I prefer to capture the features and impressions of places or objects, especially from the natural world, by distinguishing what makes them unique. I do this by painting individuality - not generic impressions - and this is why I choose to paint realistically. I also paint realistically as a motivation to learn from nature. For instance, when I paint a bird, I learn about the characteristics that make that species unique, such as, it's feather patterns; it's size; or it's body, beak, or wing shapes. Painting that bird, thus, furthers my understanding of why or how that bird has adapted to it's environment, and, thus, it enhances my knowledge. Painting a loose resemblance of that bird misses most of the information it is sharing. Thus, painting realistically has opened my awareness of the universe, and, though it requires discipline and focus – aspects many artists consider boring – I am not bored at all; on the contrary, I'm enthralled with the deep learning I get from keeping my focus and capturing the essence of the subject or places I'm painting. I am most inspired to paint those special places, subjects, and moments that evoke rapture, reverence, and awe - subjects that engage people to be grateful for their universe and the natural world that sustains them. However, I do not go as far as portraying nature in a romantic or subjective style like luminist nature painters such as Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt. I paint beauty to lure people back to the not too distant past when mankind was one with nature - to open their minds to something most people have forgotten.
Artists who inspired me as a youth artist were Salvador Dali, Maxfield Parrish, and Norman Rockwell. Artists who still inspire me are Andrew Wyeth, Robert Bateman, Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill, William Keith, and George Inness. I enjoy traveling and exploring and, much like John Muir, being inspired by the vast beauty of this earth. My big goal is to continue traveling the world with my husband Harry, revel in the beauty and magnificence of the world, and capture those inspirations through my art.
Janet was raised in Auburn, California, a Sierra Nevada foothill community. As a young adult, she hiked, explored, and painted the surrounding countryside. She began her formal art education at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. While attending Sierra College Janet also illustrated and created museum exhibits and planetarium shows for the Sierra College Science Center and Planetarium. She later transferred to the University of California, Davis where she continued her fine art studies under noted artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, and others. During her studies at U.C Davis she began illustrating computer game covers for companies such as Sirius Software, and 20th Century Fox.
Over the next several years Janet divided her time between illustrating and plein aire painting of scenic landscapes in California. During this time she met Harry Erl while attending a ski tour in the Sierra Nevada's of northern California. Harry and Janet soon married and moved to Siskiyou County in Northern California. Over the next eighteen years Janet's fine art career took center stage and her work was heavily influenced by her explorations of Siskiyou County.At the turn of the millenium Janet and Harry moved to Klamath County in southern Oregon where Janet, once again, divided her artistic talents between fine art painting and commercial illustrating. After fourteen years in Klamath County, Janet and Harry began traveling full-time in their vintage Bluebird Wanderlodge RV. After traveling for nearly two years, they landed in the Port Townsend, Washington region.
Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin.
Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, Vermont.
Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon.
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona.
Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Oradell, New Jersey.
James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, California
MAJOR PRIVATE & PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Central Oregon Community College, Bend, Oregon.
Rocky Mountain Clothing Company, Denver, Colorado.
Fairchild Medical Center, Yreka, California.GRANTS
Capelli d’Angeli Foundation 2013 Artist Grant, Capelli d’Angeli Foundation, Canton, CT.
Owen Gromme Grant, 1990, American Museum of Wildlife Art of the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dan Dobbins Stipend, 1983, Sierra Club Motherlode Chapter, California.
JURIED INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL, AND STATE EXHIBITIONS
Birds in Art, 2016, Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. (National Tour)
Amercian Society of Marine Artists 17th National Exhibition, 2016 Muscarelle Museum, Williamsburg, VA.
Art of the Animal Kingdom XVIII, 2013, Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, Vermont.
Oregon Waterways Exhibit, 2012, Giustina Gallery, Corvallis, Oregon.
19th Annual Maritime Art Exhibit, 2012, Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon.
47th Annual Aqueous Media Exhibition, 2012, Watercolor Society of Oregon, Portland, Oregon.
3rd Annual Laumeister Fine Art Competition, 2011, Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, Vermont, (Viewer’s Choice Award).
Watercolor Society of Oregon 46th Annual Aqueous Media Exhibition 2011, Eugene, Oregon.
Watercolor Society of Oregon 45th Annual Transparent Watercolor Exhibition 2010, Salem, Oregon, (2nd Place, People’s Choice Award, & Statewide Touring Exhibit).
2010 Aqueous Open, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society’s 64th Annual International Exhibition, Pittsburgh, PA.
31st Annual International Marine Art Exhibition, 2010, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.
Maritime Miniatures by Maritime Masters, 2010, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.
Emerald Spring Exhibition, 2010, Emerald Art Center, Springfiled Oregon
Northwest Watercolor Society 2010 70th Annual Open Exhibition, Seattle WA.
Watercolor Society of Oregon 45th Annual Aqueous Media Exhibition 2010, Brookings, Oregon, (Award of Distinction, Statewide Touring Exhibit).
WAS-H 2010 33rd International Exhibit, Watercolor Art Society Houston, 2010, Houston, Texas,(Merit Award).
National Watercolor Society 89th Annual Exhibition, 2009, La Brea, California
2009 Aqueous Open, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society’s 63rd Annual International Exhibition,Pittsburgh, PA.
Maritime Miniatures by Maritime Masters 2009, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.
Thirtieth Annual International Marine Art Exhibition, 2009, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.
Emerald Spring Exhibition, 2009, Emerald Art Center, Springfiled Oregon, (Butler Family Gold Medal Award).
Birds in Art, 2008, 1992, 1989,1988 Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
Wildlife: The Artist's View, 1996, Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin.
Wildlife: The Artist's View, 1993, Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin.
Birds in Art, 1992, Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
Wildlife: The Artist's View, 1990 Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin.
Birds in Art, 1989 Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
Birds in Art, 1988 Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Competition, 1992, Tacoma, Washington.
Wildlife and Environmental Art Show, 1987,Los Angeles Audubon Society, Los Angeles, California, (Best of Show and Morris and Perron Merit Award).
Aqueous Open'87, 1987, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Merit Award.
American Artists Professional League's 58th Grand National Exhibition, 1986, Salmagundi Club, New York, New York.
Aqueous Open'86, 1986, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, Pittsburgh, PA.
8th Annual Desert West Juried Art Show, 1986, Lancaster, California.
REGIONAL JURIED EXHIBITIONS
Small Expressions, 2015, Northwinds Art Center, Port Townsend, WA. (Merit Award)
Oregon Days of Culture, Oregon Cultural Trust, 2010, Ross Ragland Theater, Klamath Falls, OR
From the Field to the Table, 2009, Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center, Klamath Falls, Oregon,
From the Field to the Table, 2008, Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center, Klamath Falls, Oregon,,(Second Place.)
Celebration of Birds Exhibit, 2005, Klamath Falls, Oregon, (Best of Show, First Place, People’s Choice Award).
Siskiyou Artists Association Art Show, 1992, Weed, California, (Second Place and Best Domestic Animal Award).
Siskiyou Artists Association Art Show, 1989, Yreka, California, (Best of Show and First Place Landscape).
Siskiyou Artists Association Art Show, 1987, Yreka, California, (People's Choice Award, and Best Watercolor Award).
Auburn Arts 35, 1986, Auburn, California, (Honorable Mention).
Vacaville Art Show, 1986, Vacaville, California.
Fairfield Art Show, 1985, Fairfield, California.
Eclectic Two Art Show, 1985, Roseville, California.
Vacaville Art Show, 1985, Vacaville, California.
Auburn Arts 33, 1984, Auburn, California, (Honorable Mention).
High Desert Art Show, 1981, Joshua Tree, California, (Honorable Mention).
ONE PERSON & GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Small Pleasures, 2015, Brackenwood Gallery, Langley, WA.
Finely Wrought, 2010, Southern Coos Hospital, Bandon OR.
32nd Annual Sagebrush Rendezvous Art Show, 2010, Klamath Falls, OR, (featured artist).
Journeys in Art by Janet Tarjan Erl, 2008, The Gallery in Mt. Shasta, Mt. Shasta, CA.
Springfest of Art, 2008, Klamath Arts Council, Klamath Falls, Oregon, (featured artist).
Paintings by Janet Tarjan Erl, 2003, Modoc Gallery, Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Klamath Regional Arts, 2003, Klamath Arts Council Gallery, Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Favell Western Art Show, 2002, Favell Museum, Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Paintings of The American Landscape, 1997, Howard/Mandville Gallery, Edmunds, WA.
6th Annual Northwest Invitational Miniature Show, 1996, Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, WA.
Art of the West, 1995, Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, Washington
An Evening with Tarjan, 1995, Fairchild Medical Center, Yreka, California.
5th Annual Northwest Invitational Miniature Show, 1995, Howard/Mandville Gallery,
Watercolors, 1994, Howard/Mandville Gallery, Edmunds, Washington.
4th Annual Northwest Invitational Miniature Show, 1994, Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, WA.
Sixth Annual Original Showcase, 1994, Prestige Gallery, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Natural Wonders, 1993, Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. (Permanent collection).
Tarjan One Person Show, 1993, Camera Shasta, Yreka, California.
3rd Annual Northwest Invitational Miniature Show, 1993, Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, WA.
5th Annual Original Showcase, 1993, Prestige Gallery. Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
2nd Annual Northwest Invitational Miniature Show, 1992, Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, WA.
4th Annual Original Showcase, 1992, Prestige Gallery. Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Three Person Show, 1992 Kavesh Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho.
Two Person Show, 1991, Kavesh Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho.
Cats. 1991. Pacific Wildlife Galleries. Lafayette, California.
Northwest Invitational Miniature Show. 1991. Howard/Mandville Gallery. Kirkland, WA.
3rd Annual Original Showcase. 1991. Prestige Gallery. Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Wildlife of The West, 1990, One person show, 'The Duck Stamp, Sacramento, California.
Watercolors, 1989, Zantman Art Galleries, Carmel, California.
Welcome Aboard, ASMA News and Journal, Winter 2017
Escapees Take Their Talent to the Road - Creativity on the Move, Escapees, September/October, 2016
Marine Artists Exhibition, Southwest Art, September, 2016
Landscape Wildlife Painter Opens PT Gallery, The Leader, June 1, 2016.
Artist’s Rendezvous, Herald and News, January 31, 2010.
The Gallery Hosts Erl, Siskiyou Daily News, January 31, 2008.
Springfest of Art, Herald and News, March 27, 2008.
Along the Wilderness Trail, Wildlife Art News, May/June 1992.
Artist Vignette, Wildlife Art News, May/June 1990.
The Watercolor Wonders of Janet Tarjan Erl, Siskiyou Times, Aug. 1, 1990.
Private Showings, US Art, April 1989.
Painting in the Back Country - A Guide to Streamlining Your Art Gear, American Artist, October 1988.
Works of Art Capture Nature's Serenity, Siskiyou Daily News, Sept., 19, 1988.
Sacramento's Wildlife Parkway, Outdoor California, Sept./Oct. 1985.
CURRENT GALLERY REPRESENTATIVES
Charles Spinetta Winery and Wildlife Art Gallery, Plymouth, California
RETROSPECTIVE GALLERY REPRESENTATIVES
Second Street Gallery, Bandon, Oregon
Silverthorne Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming.
Kavesh Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho
Zantman Art Galleries, Carmel, California.
Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland & Edmunds, Washington.
Black Bear Gallery/ The Gallery in Mt. Shasta, Mt. Shasta, California.
The Duck Stamp Gallery, Sacramento, California.
Miners' Gallery, Yreka, California.
Blackhawk Gallery, Danville, California.
Pacific Wildlife Gallery, Lafayette, California.
Gerald Petite Gallery, Ashland, Oregon.
Two Rivers Gallery, Chiloquin, Oregon.
Mt. Trails Gallery, Park City, Utah
Parsonage Gallery. Carmel Valley, California.
OTHER RELATED ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACTIVITIES Janet is an international award winning illustrator of T-shirt designs. She is also a published writer and has authored articles for magazines and newsletters. She has bicycled from Seattle Washington to Auburn, California, and bike toured Northern California via Auburn, red Bluff, Ferndale, Fort Bragg, Clear Lake, and back to Auburn. She also backpacked cross country (no trails) from Emigrant Gap, California (Interstate 80) to Downieville, California.
All Images and Content © 1980 - Present (2017) Copyright Janet Tarjan Erl