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Titles and Why I Love Them Part 5

Ice Tower © 2019 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

I continued working with the effects of climate change in my series called “Ice Thins.” Above Ice Tower which represents a singular floating iceberg.

Ice Arch ©2019 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

Ice Arch represents when the effect of melting ice in different places create a giant arch of ice. This is the arch will eventually collapse to join the extended family of former ice shelves that become invisible once diluted in the ocean.

Ice Bridge ©2019 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

The effects of rising temperature causes certain parts of an ice shelf to melt in such a a way as to create an a bridge made entirely of ice. This is the type of bridge is certainly unstable in its long stage of melting. Eventually all of this will become one with the ocean and add to the rise of sea level globally.

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Titles and Why I Love Them Part 2

Significant Split ©2017 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

Of late I have been working with the effects of climate change in a series called “Ice Thins.” Some titles are long involved titles like: Arctic Ice Cap Flows to Ocean or Significant Split. While others are simple like Ice Tunnel and Ice Islands. The most complex piece I completed in 2017 was Antarctica which incidentally was the first completed.

Arctic Ice Cap Flows to Ocean ©2017 Janet Brugos Mixed Media
Antarctica ©2017 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

Here are the more simple pieces titled Ice Tunnel and Ice Islands.

Ice Tunnel ©2017 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media
Ice Islands ©2017 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

In my mixed media pieces I use a variety of items in addition to water media, I use fabric, lace, handmade paper, torn pieces of paper, pieces of batik, suminagashi and found objects. Suminagashi is the Japanese art of marbling by floating inks on water and then dipping paper or fabric to pick up the colors. It sounds simple but it takes practice to achieve a great piece. Fortunately I save those pieces I am not happy with and use fragments of them in my mixed media art.

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Titles and Why I Love Them Part 3

Silhouettes ©2018 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

I continued working with the effects of climate change in my series called “Ice Thins.” Above Silhouettes which represent a grouping of large icebergs but I wanted to leave it up to interpretation as others may see it differently.

Ice Calving ©2018 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

Ice Calving represents when huge chunks of ice fall into the oceans. Once in the ocean, they can melt overtime and increase the waters in the ocean.

Ice Fingers ©2018 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

Fire plays a part in climate change so this is why I included this piece in the series.

Fire ©2018 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

Fire can destroy trees and land which in turn demolishes habitat for animals and people. It can also destroy fields of crops.

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Titles and Why I Love Them

Mt Rushmore ©1995 Collage by Janet Brugos

Titles and Why I love them
Part 1

I love titles. I usually find myself collecting titles for use at some future time.

While wanting to get feedback about my art work, I went into a gallery in San Francisco in 2007. I told the owner that I was not seeking representation in his gallery because my work would not fit with the work of their current artists. He looked at my binder full of images of my work.

He stopped at one called Mt Rushmore and said the work reminded him of Romare Bearden. I was honored to be compared to a well known exceptional artist. That piece is an early one from the 1990s. I had the idea to create not only their faces but include other symbols that spoke of their influence. He said looking at my work, you should make them all untitled. I took his suggestion with grace but I thought, there is nothing like finding the right title for a work of art or a piece of writing. Like naming a child before birth and then either confirming it or finding a suitable one later.

Many times, I come up with the title before completing the piece or sometimes even before the piece has been birthed.

Footnote about Mt Rushmore. I got the best reward for that piece that I have gotten in my entire life. Two teachers in Nebraska had their students visit an art show where there was an abundance of artwork. The students were to write a letter to the artist of the painting they liked most. I received about 20 letters from 9 and 10 ten olds. They are still a treasure to me. I answered each one with my animal note cards. The surveyor’s map was because Washington had been a surveyor. The revolutionary drum joined Washington and Jefferson as they were both active in the American Revolution. Jefferson was a man of many talents. Teddy Roosevelt was one of the rough riders and eventually started the national parks. It was under Lincoln that we started have our paper money known as greenbacks.

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Whirlpool ©2009 by Janet Brugos
 water wets my whistle 
salts my tears  
runs down the panes of windows 
 courses through my bloodstream
 floats in my eye 
flows down the planes of my face
quenches my thirst
cleanses my body
nourishes my being

 the color of water appears 
clear in the liquid we drink
white in rushing rivers 
green in still waters 
red in lakes reflecting sunsets 
deep blue in global seas

 rain drop, snowflake, puddle, pond, 
lake, geyser, glacier, 
iceberg, spring, stream, river, 
waterfall, whirlpool, ocean

 water surrounds us in the womb  
 comforts us in a bath  
cleanses our senses
nourishes our beings

taste, feel, smell, hear and see water

wonderful water wanders the world 
willfully wild or carefully constrained

by Janet Brugos 2009
revised 2020
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Wildfire 2019 Mixed Media Art by Janet Brugos


Life takes a tumble, the wind blows fires out of control, hurricane winds blow around selected spots to make a change, wipes things out or leaves a protected oasis. We never know where we might be when it happens. So all of us need to be ready.

Recently in California, we have had so many wildfires that were out of control.  For days and often weeks firefighters worked to contain and stop these fires.  We all owe them a great debt for putting their life on the line. Often the air was tinged with ash.

It became so hard to breath. We moved into the worst air conditions for all living beings. Vegetation was threatened. So many trees were cremated. It was deeply disturbing for our state, our country, our planet and all wild life and humanity.

Make a list of what is important in your life and pack your emergency bag.

  • local Family
  • out of Town Family
  • local Friends
  • cash
  • insurance Information
  • bank accounts
  • credit cards
  • flashlight & batteries
  • clothing
  • sleeping bag or blanket
  • non perishable food
  • medications
  • water

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My People

My people – Bob

sunlight filters warmth
into the library windows
while Bob works
with tiny brown leaves
places them
on small white papers
lines up the leaves
rolls all the leaves
into a tube
my five year old self
My favorite part
he licks his tongue
on the white paper
so it all stays together

The tubes are
my fingers’ size

he make the tubes
over and over
I love Bob
mother calls him father
others call him Doctor
or the Maj

he sits back
in his favorite chair
in the library
he stretches
puts a match to the tiny tube
then into his mouth
he breaths out puffs
of white and gray


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ICE CAVE ©2020 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media


blows round
 my empty heart
spreading through
the ice cave
even passion’s fire
not stopping
dispersing all emotions
up, down, around
breathing into
every vein
chilling (champagne)
in the ice cave
of lost love
bits chip off
thread thin
snapped finished

by Janet Brugos,  Paris, France 1993


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2020 Masks

2020 Masks

days of yore
on the radio
that masked man
followed by
the thunder of hoof beats.
now, no hoof beats
thumping heart beats
hiding behind that paper mask
that medical grade surgical mask
or that piece of fashion mask

Are we in
an annual, biennial or dreaded perennial
mask year

mask as a disguise
playful or sinister
intention is prevention
hiding droplets
to protect others

Instagram search
finds many masks
funny serious gorgeous
or mundane

a zebra mask
a leopard mask
but no ant eater
or elephant masks.

masks do little
to hide our pain.

by Janet Brugos