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The World is Full Incredible Cities

Chicago Ice ©1996 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

I started making art in 1991 while I was living in France. I returned to the United States in 1994 and settled in a small town in Eastern Colorado called Beulah. Eventually I decided I needed to do a piece about the city of my birth. Chicago Ice was based on an actual scene. When I was in Chicago for business, I came upon this spectacular scene. The Chicago River was frozen over but was lit up by the city lights and perhaps the moon. I included the Wrigley Building, several high rise buildings and a piece representing the Carson Pirie Scott Company. The building was designed by Louis Sullivan and was in business as large retail department store in downtown Chicago until 2006.

Below Vienna, City of Dreams was made while I was still working with specially selected bits of paper. I love Vienna. It is a city of dreams where music abounds. On my honeymoon I remember being there in the Opera House in the standing room only area in the center of the orchestra section.

Vienna City of Dreams ©1993 by Janet Brugos Collage

Now bringing you back to the US and where I currently live in Oakland. Lake Merritt is the stunning lake by day and even more so by night as it has a magical necklace of lights going all around it. The building is the Court House–not as it actually looks but a depiction.

Lake Merritt by Night ©2011 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media
Bay Bridge ©2006 by Janet Brugos Mixed Media

One more international city, Paris. I city I first met at age 16 when traveling with my Girl Scout Trip. It was then I was hooked and determined that one day I would live there. Then one day I did and had wonderful experiences but that is another story.

Paris by Day ©1994 by Janet Brugos Collage

When I returned to the United States, mentally I was still absorbed in the French Life. I had a show at the Sangre De Christo Art Center in Pueblo in 1994.

The exhibit was entitled Bridges. I did a piece Paris by Day and also Paris by Night. I remember thinking at the time, was Paris a bridge. Now I know Paris was bridge for me.

Paris by Night ©1994
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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.