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Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider talks about her ‘Come to the Light’ exhibition

Expressionist artist and colorist Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider chatted about her “Come to the Light” exhibition.

Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider
Artist Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider. Photo Courtesy of Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider.
Artist Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider. Photo Courtesy of Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider.

Expressionist artist and colorist Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider chatted about her “Come to the Light” exhibition.

The paintings of Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider, are now having an exclusive NYC exhibition at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in Manhattan’s in Greenwich Village. The exhibition, titled “Come To The Light,” will run through June 14.

How did the “Come to the Light” exhibition come about?

The theme for the “Come to the Light” exhibition happened in a remarkable way.  One early morning I passed a second floor window in our home and was struck by an incredible sunrise, almost spiritual. 

I did not have a theme for the show yet, but I wanted to address all of the turmoil in the world giving many fear and unrest. Immediately I said, “This is the theme for the show – light brings hope, future well being, calm and solace.  A beautiful sunlight comes up every day. 

We then found a quote by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and paraphrased it to read, “Come to the Light.”  It “said” what the show would say to others.  The idea in hand, I talked to my closet advisors including MaryLou Pagano, Executive Director of the Sheen Center.  They said, “you have just the right focus for our time in the world.”

What has this exhibition taught you about yourself?

I have discovered two things:  First, color really “talks.”  The correct two colors together really are a “melody” or they as I say “sing” together.   

Second, there is a spirituality to the color blue.  If you look at blue water at a distance or the sky on a clear, clear day, there “something” there.  Whatever it is it puts everything into perspective and is calming. 

Thus, I have painted distant misty waters and blue skies, and this is why you see so much blue in the show.  I believe that an artist can have a “voice” and can influence others in a positive way. 

What motivates you each as an artist/painter?

I have always been visual.  My mother and sister were painters.  I love the action of paint on canvas. I want to see how the paint reacts to the surface. 

There are three elements that I look for. First, is color. It is the joy and character in a painting.  Second are the gesture lines. They are the passion and they enhance the excitement, movement and design in a painting. 

Third, is the texture. Some areas are thick and rich in valleys of opaque paint and others are translucent. This adds richness to the surface and enhances it.

How does it feel to be an artist in the digital age? (Now with streaming, technology and social media being so prevalent)

I welcome it and embrace it.  We all need to learn more about new advancements like AI and how to use it. I find it provides many new outlets for artwork and many potential new techniques.

There is a myriad of ways to incorporate digital in art and even make it the center of the subject of a painting. 

What do your plans for the future include?

My future includes more and more painting, more painting and more outlets to show my work to others. 

I want the viewers to enjoy the beautiful blue skies and waters, to be mystified by lonely clouds and distant skylines.

I am always on the path to find newness for my paintings. I want to add new ideas, colors, patterns…and include digital possibilities.  One must keep evolving and changing… but keep an eye on history. 

I am currently negotiating for shows in Europe, as well as going back to Paris where I did my first solo show… and of course Connecticut and New York. 

I always try newer, more innovative works. To add to my experiences I will happily travel the world and see the visual treasures. 

What is your advice for young and aspiring artists?

Keep looking in an underlying, analytical way; keep looking, keep looking.  

Paint, draw, paint. Take an iPad picture of it and look again!  What do you think?  Stay flexible. Be creative. What is in your mind?    

What does the word success mean to you?

To me, success is when a patron really looks at my painting. I love to watch them.  They spend time and look at the colors, evaluate the design and the light/dark patterns. They “feel” the AURA of the painting.  That to me is my success as a painter.   

What would you like to tell our readers about your exhibition? (What’s the one thing you want them to get out of it)

I want the viewers of my “Come to the Light” exhibition to take away a sense of calm, and reassurance… that the world will sometime soon see peace and renewal.  I want those that make the decisions to realize how important their role is in helping to achieve these goals…of peace in our time.

Most of all, I want the viewer to enjoy the visual stimulation of the color and gesture lines. I want them to feel my purpose in the exhibition, to enjoy calmness. Visitors to the show should come away uplifted with an enhanced feeling of peace and joy in the colors and gesture lines.

I want the viewer to see that I have become enchanted with the mist in a painting.  I consider the mist a mystery, which allows a person to surmise what is actually there.  It is romantic. It leads someone’s eye to float in a sea of colors and mist and find their own interpretation.

To learn more about artist Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider, check out her official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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