How I got from Simple Collages to Textural Mixed Media Work

How I got from simple collages to highly textural mixed media work.

Beggar ©1992 Collage by Janet Brugos
The Eyes Have it 1993 Collage by Janet Brugos
Perfume Gold ©1994 Collage by Janet Brugos

I will give an artist talk on Sunday, August 14 at 2PM PDT at Gallery 2727 in Berkeley, CA.  If you can make that I will fill a lot more detail.  Gallery 2727 is an artist run gallery in an absolutely outstanding venue at 2727 California Street in Berkeley.  Currently ten artists have their work on display including me.  The work of all the artists is of very quality. I am delighted to be one of them.

I want to thank Jacqueline Gard Urbanek  in Paris, France for setting me on the road to becoming a true artist.  I showed her some of my simple collages in the early 1990s.  She lived a true artist life in a wonderful Parisian apartment where she even grew grapes on her balcony.  She had dozens of oil paintings on her walls and stored in other rooms.  I loved her work.  It was vibrant and poignant.  We met because I had a French husband and she had an American husband. She suggested that I show my work at the Salon Des Independents  held at the Grand Palais in Paris.  I entered the Salon in 1991 and afterwards received many invitations from galleries to show my work.  Jacqueline had set me on my way and I am most grateful.

The event of the Salon Des Independents was for me my induction into the artistic world.  It was super exciting to see all the work.  Some of which was fabulous, others a bit mediocre.  I really could not classify mine.  Here is one of the two pieces I displayed at the Salon  titled Artemis.

Artemis ©1991 Collage by Janet Brugos
Time ©1990 collage on calendar board by Janet Brugos

Over time I started wanting more texture.  I told people I was going dimensional. I even considered sculpture.  I recall one very long conversation on a Paris train platform with a sculptor.  After that conversation.  I decided I had better stick with things that I could lift, move from place to place or even ship.

My personal life was on the border of being unhinged.  My adorable French husband turned out to be far better in my imagination than in reality.  I turned to art to have something in my life that mattered.  He had to step over piles of torn magazines images as I was using our entire apartment as a studio.  So to connect with Jacqueline was a major miracle in my life. 

I enjoyed being in art scene in France. But it soon became clear that I had to return to the USA rather than stay in France.  My mother was older and failing in some ways.  I decided to return for 6 months but then that extended. My mother died in 1997.  In 1998 I had to decide whether I wanted to live in the US or France.  I went back, stayed with friends and determined my life was centered in the US.  My two daughters were in permanent relationships and I really wanted to be a part of their lives.  So I did not renew my carte de residence as I had to be living there to get it renewed.


Below is some of my current work that is on display and for sale at the Gallery 2727 in Berkeley through August 21, 2022.

Ice Stripes ©2020 Mixed Media by Janet Brugos
In recent years I have two main themes they are Climate Awareness and Urban Landscapes. 
I am currently working on a series of portraits of women.  Though they may not be recognizable as anyone you know, there will be hints of that woman’s life.  I will bring one in progress piece to the gallery on Sunday.  Though it is not recommended that an artist show their work until it is completed, I want to do this so you can get an idea of how I work.  It is easier to understand if you see in it like a clip from a film frozen in time.  Until I start to touch it and bring forth color, texture and of course complexity.
Ice Cave ©2020 mixed media by Janet Brugos
Ice Forum ©2021 Mixed Media by Janet Brugos
Maverick ©2008 Mixed Media by Janet Brugos
Chilean Glacier ©2010 Mixed Media by Janet Brugos

To be continued. . . .


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