It was not so long ago I was doing a random google search for tattoo reference, I believe and lo and behold I came across a listing for a book on Amazon that was written by Janie Gildow, my high school art teacher. I hadn’t seen Ms. Gildow since I graduated from Covington in 1989. Her site used her signature which confirmed it was her even before I found the photo. Digging a bit deeper I came across contact info.
After a quick round of messages I found out that after finishing her second book, she had begun traveling around the country giving colored pencil workshops. In 2006, she got fed up with the increased irritations of air travel and said to heck with all that. Since then, She’s been teaching at the Art Institute at the Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ. she “really enjoy(s) teaching adults because they: Laugh at my stale jokes, don’t carve dirty words on the tables, don’t poke each other with sharp objects, and are there because they actually want to be. The Desert Museum is unique in that it contains an abundance of the plants and animals native to the Southwest, and one of the advantages of being an instructor is that I can have live animals brought into the classroom for the students to draw and photograph.”
Ms Gildow—or Janie as she’s now asked me to call her was always a real inspiration to me in high school. She helped set me on a path that has led me to a very fun, creative and fulfilling career. I’ve often thought of her and smiled, had she not made high school art class exciting challenging and fun who knows what I might be up to today.
Janie has shared some of her artwork with me and I feel compelled to share it with those who may appreciate it as well. Please feel free to visit the links below to find out more about Janie Gildow and her work.
Once piece in particular, Covington Morning, bears special attention in my opinion. It continually catches my eye and locks me into the moment.
Covington Morning has become an instant favorite of mine. Maybe because of the familiarity I have with the subject matter or the way it transports me back to a more simple time and place, but mostly—I think the way Janie was able to capture the morning sun and the shadows, the details—the reflections in the windows. To me it has an Edward Hopper feel that I love so much. Hopper is by far and away my favorite artist, which Janie had a hand in influencing, or at the least introducing me to. I’m often intrigued and strangely moved by that feeling of loneliness that Hopper’s art portrays and the way he was able to capture the way the light hits the side of a building. In her work, Covington Morning, Janie has been able to preserve this same feeling which is what makes this a truly wonderful piece of artwork.