Janet was born in 1957 and was raised in Auburn, California. Auburn is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California. It has a rich gold mining history, but it also abounds with rivers, lakes, forests, and a whole lotta Nature. As a young child, Janet was treated to many family outings where she enjoyed hiking and exploring with her parents and siblings. She was also exposed to the arts by her parents. Her father sketched and played piano, and her mother sang, so by the age of five, Janet could sketch and play the piano.
With so much exposure to art and exploring, it’s no wonder that these interests blazed a path to her future. So by the time she was a young adult, she frequently hiked and explored the surrounding countryside. She also started painting on location many of the scenic locations that the area has in abundance.
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. While attending UC Davis, she began freelance illustrating computer game covers for companies such as Sirius Software, and 20th Century Fox.
For several years thereafter Janet divided her time between illustrating and plein-air painting of scenic landscapes in California. During this time she met Harry Erl while back-country skiing in the Sierra Nevada’s near Lake Tahoe, California. Harry’s skill as a backpacker, mountaineer, skier, and Nature renaissance man coupled with Janet’s deep curiosity to explore made Harry and Janet a perfect match. 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 northern California and southern Oregon. At the turn of the millennium Janet and Harry moved to Klamath County, Oregon where Janet and Harry started Trekker Designs, a screen printing and embroidery business. At this time Janet divided her artistic talents between fine art painting and commercial illustrating for their business. After fourteen years in Klamath County, Janet and Harry started a new adventure and began traveling full-time in their vintage Bluebird Wanderlodge RV. After traveling for several years, they landed in the northwest region of Washington state.
Over the years I have had dramatic and profound experiences that have changed my perception of reality. I now see more deeply how the power of every thought and action we have can influence our reality. As a result, my artistic vision and my human purpose have changed, and I now feel more responsible to my world, to my art, and to the way in which I create my art. With this in mind, my choice of what I create is very deliberate, and I often choose Nature as my preferred subject because it is the ultimate masterpiece, the endless source of creativity, and the ever unfolding mystery. I have devoted most of my art career to painting it, but having cancer helped me understand why Nature has been the theme of most of my work. It’s simple! Nature represents how I want my world to be-beautiful, creative, honest, and harmonious. I am most inspired to paint special places, subjects, and moments that evoke rapture, reverence, and awe-subjects that engage people to appreciate their universe and the natural world that sustains them. That kind of gratitude is what I want to see in the world. I do not want to add to our destructive human story by creating expressions of dystopia or negative imagery that remind us of what’s wrong in the world. On the contrary, I want people to be grateful, and my preferred way to do this is to inspire them with Nature’s brilliant creativity and awe inspiring beauty.
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. Furthermore, since realism is more easily understood than most modern art, it is easier to convey an artwork’s meaning and intent to most viewers.
I also paint realistically as a motivation to learn from nature. 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, to paint its intricate details, I will learn about these things and can share them through my art. Thus, I not only gain understanding of the mysteries of Nature, I also help others gain it too. Another example is, when I paint a bird, I learn about the characteristics that make that species unique, such as, it’s feather patterns, it’s size, its shape, its beak, etc…. Painting that bird, thus, furthers my understanding of why or how that bird has adapted to it’s environment. Again, my knowledge is expanded. Painting a loose resemblance of that bird misses most of the information of its adaptation and its uniqueness. So being a realist has opened my awareness of our planet and universe, and, though it requires discipline, focus, and a lot of time to paint in this style – aspects many artists consider boring – I am not at all bored. On the contrary, I’m enthralled with the
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, exploring, and being inspired by the vast beauty of this earth. My big goal is to continue exploring with my husband Harry, revel in the beauty and magnificence of the world, and capture those inspirations through my art.
RESIDES: Chimacum, Washington
University of California, Davis, 1978-81, Bachelor of Arts – Fine/Studio Arts, General
Sierra College, Rocklin, CA., 1974-77, Undergraduate Studies.
FINE ART: 1975-Present ILLUSTRATION:1975 -Present
Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society (NWS) (Current); Signature Member. American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) (Past); Signature Member. Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) (Past).
AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
Watercolors, Oils, Pencil, Gouache, Acrylic, Public Art, Murals, Ceramic Sculpture, Intaglio Printmaking, Illustration, Graphic Design, Book Illustration, Science Exhibits, T-shirt and Embroidery Illustration and Graphics, Brochures, Logos, Posters, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe In-Design, Corel Draw, Corel Paint Shop Pro.
Janet’s professional art career spans over 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 international, national, and regional competitions. She has won many awards for her fine art and illustrations and has been featured in publications such as American Artist, US Art, and Wildlife Art News. She has numerous paintings in many private and public collections which include the Tucson Museum of Art, the Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, and the Bennington Center for the Arts, plus many more. Her list of commercial clientele includes noted companies such as 20th Century Fox, Black Bear Diner, and Sirius Software. Lastly, she has been awarded signature status in the prestigious National Watercolor Society.
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.
Salt Lake City Airport, Salt Lake City, Utah, Whimsy Wall Public Art, 2018 – 2020
City of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Snowflake Festival Art, 2003 -2006
Klamath Arts Council, Kinetic Sculpture Race Art, 2005-2010, Klamath Falls, Oregon
Klamath Arts Council, 3rd Thursday Art, 2008, Klamath Falls, Oregon
Sacramento Science Center and Junior Museum, 1985 – 86, Exhibits, Sacramento CA.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 1985-86, Carmichael, CA.
Sierra College Science Center and Planetarium, 1976-78, Rocklin, CA.
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
National Watercolor Society: The First 100 Years, 2020, Hilbert Museum of California Art, Orange, CA 92866
25th Annual Maritime Art Show, 2018, Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon. (Honorable Mention)
The CVG Show, 2018, Collective Visions Gallery, Bremerton, Washington.
Birds in Art, 2016, Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. (National Tour)
American Society of Marine Artists 17th National Exhibition, 2016 Muscarelle Museum, Williamsburg, VA. (National Tour)
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, Springfield 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, Springfield 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.
National Watercolor Society Newsletter, Fall, 2020(cover).
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
GALLERIES PRESENT AND PAST
Charles Spinetta Winery and Wildlife Art Gallery, Plymouth, California (Current Representative)
Snowcreek Gallery, Mt. Shasta, California (Past).
Second Street Gallery, Bandon, Oregon (Past).
Silverthorne Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming (Past).
Kavesh Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho (Past).
Zantman Art Galleries, Carmel, California (Past).
Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland & Edmunds, Washington (Past).
Black Bear Gallery/ The Gallery in Mt. Shasta, Mt. Shasta, California (Past).
The Duck Stamp Gallery, Sacramento, California (Past).
Miners’ Gallery, Yreka, California (Past).
Blackhawk Gallery, Danville, California (Past).
Pacific Wildlife Gallery, Lafayette, California (Past).
Gerald Petite Gallery, Ashland, Oregon (Past).
Two Rivers Gallery, Chiloquin, Oregon (Past).
Mt. Trails Gallery, Park City, Utah (Past).
Parsonage Gallery. Carmel Valley, California (Past).
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.
Art Gallery Owner, Publicity Director, Art Director, Apparel Imprints Business Owner (Screen Printing and Embroidery), Marketing Coordinator, Search and Rescue Volunteer, Newsletter Editor, Owner/Builder, Photographer, Art Framer, Art Crater/Shipper, Writer/Author, Fiddler, Spanish.