Smiling faces, vibrant swirls, dogs, cats and glass–lots and lots of beautiful colored and decorated glass; this is the work of artist Janice Osborne. Janice had been interested in art since she was very young and initially started out drawing and painting. Noted for being a talented cartoonist, she was offered a job with Fritz Freleng of “Pink Panther” fame. From there, she was mentored in the field of etching on metal plates by well-known artist Esther Lewis. Today, many of Janice’s etchings hang in homes and in and around the Los Angeles area.
In the late 1970’s Janice became fascinated with stained glass and was subsequently mentored by Adamm Gritlefeld. She worked with him in his studio in Santa Monica which was voted “Best of LA” in 2013. For the next few years she created original stained glass masterpieces for the rich and famous and for the not so rich and famous. One of her commissions was to create an exact duplication of a Tiffany Style chandelier for Harrison Ford’s ex-wife so that both of them could share in its beauty. During this same period of time Janice was also dabbling in the field of clothing design, which resulted in an original line of tennis apparel.
Janice established her own studio in Hermosa Beach, California and later moved to the La Quinta area where she currently creates her original works which have been sold around the world. She occasionally shows her work at Art Festivals in and around the Southern California area. Her ideas are endless, new creations keep popping up in her head to her excitement and her admirers. Her latest creation is called “The Galaxy of Colors” and is on display in the center median on El Paseo, Palm Desert, California. Her work is also on display at Coda Gallery on El Paseo, The Borrego Art Institute in Borrego Springs, California and Sm’Art Art Studio in La Quinta, California.
Recently Janice Osborne spoke to the Examiner about her experiences working as an artist and her hopes for the future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when did you decide to become an artist?
Janice Osborne (J.O.): I never actually decided to become an artist, as a young child I had a knack for drawing pictures. I continued drawing, painting, then doing etchings and, at last found my passion in glass.
M.M.: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you?
J.O.: Growing up, I liked to do cartoon characters. I became so good at it that Fritz Freleng (of Pink Panther fame) offered me a job! Before I started in the glass art field, I trained with oil painting and etchings. I even designed a line of tennis clothes using vivid colors before its time. By chance I took a stained glass class and that was the start of my love for glass. I created too many to count, windows, doors, room dividers, chandeliers and lamps that adorn many homes in the Los Angeles area. A funny story, my husband was and is a trial attorney in the Beverly Hills area and, years ago, he represented Harrison Ford’s wife in a divorce action where he and his then wife both wanted the same tiffany style lamp. In order to settle the issue, my husband offered my services to make a duplicate of the lamp, which I did and solved the issue. So you never know when art can come to the rescue!
M.M.: How did you go about getting into galleries and/or public showcases?
J.O.: I did not get into galleries or art trade shows until I entered the fused glass arena. I started doing weekend art shows when local stores asked me to put some of my pieces in their showrooms which helped my exposure. A couple of years ago I was commissioned by the City of Palm Desert, California to put a sculpture up on El Paseo in the center median, which is kind of the Fifth Avenue of the desert, along with 17 other artists. Coda Gallery, which is the largest gallery on El Paseo approached me and asked if they could represent my work in their showroom. This was always a dream for me.
M.M.: How would you describe your work and what inspires it?
J.O.: My work is inspired by my surroundings, nature, animals and color. I love being a little whimsical and try to bring a smile to everyone’s face. I have been showing my art in the desert area for many years and therefor have connected with many wonderful organizations and galleries who helped me further my work and reach as many people as possible. The La Quinta Arts Foundation and Sm’Art Art Gallery are among a few. The Sm’Art Art Gallery is an artist coop where 16 local artists rent space, give classes and generally support each other.
M.M.: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?
J.O.: At the moment my favorite piece is “The Galaxy of Colors” with so many circles. It’s hard to pick the one I like the most. However, the “Galaxy” does show the many techniques in fusing that I can do from pot melts to screen melts and frit design.
M.M.: What are your mediums of choice?
J.O.: I love working with any kind of glass from “frit” which is ground glass kind of the consistency of sugar to recycled glass. I save all my scraps and very often use them in my designs turning them in to works of art from plates to circles to jewelry.
M.M.: Are there any mediums that you haven’t worked with yet but hope to soon?
J.O.: I would like to try combining metal, wood and stone to some of my pieces to add another dimension to my work.
M.M.: Your style is very vibrant and beautiful. When and how did you develop this style?
J.O.: I always try to look at the positive, happy things in life and I try to convey those feelings to the people who look at my work.
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding experience involving your artwork and/or being an artist?
J.O.: The most rewarding experience I have had so far was to be chosen as one of the 18 artists to have a sculpture on El Paseo in Palm Desert and to have my artwork shown in the Coda Gallery. I have been coming to the desert for many years and Coda has always been a dream for me.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?
J.O.: My advice to aspiring young artists is to never give up on your dreams; always persevere in your quest to be the best you can be. Don’t be discouraged by other people’s negative thoughts. Keep learning and adding to your store of what you know. Who knows when something will turn into a successful work of art.
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To learn more about Janice Osborne visit her official website.