By Angela Romeo

Beauty comes in many forms and is interpreted in various ways. Laura Janes is a fine artist specializing in painting natural forms. She draws her inspiration from the elements found in nature.

“I find myself drawn to the raw, organic beauty of the Southern California Mountains and deserts. Nature provides the best subjects – look at the landscape in the Coachella Valley! The desert plants, trees, water, and rocks and even the Coachella Festival goers! Those flower wreaths were inspired by nature!”

“I work primarily in acrylic on canvas as well as in watercolor. I occasionally create mixed media pieces using images, gold and silver leaf, and encaustic materials. My subjects are represented in the abstract, coming to life through my use of amplified colors, contrast, and composition.”


Laura’s colors are bright and beautiful but stay true to their natural roots. What Laura has been able to do is capture a fragment and engage the viewer in a large-scale close up. The microscope is the viewer. The viewer is the explorer finding the nuances that her texturing and layering have created.

“I often start with photographs of the subject. I may take one or two bit more often I will take hundreds of photos. I am not capturing a painting based on photo-realism. I use the photos to keep the shadow and light of the natural surroundings alive as I paint. My work is large scale but is really about the small things. The play of light and color on an isolated section is beauty. I capture the grandeur of the landscape in a concentrated spot.”

Like many artists Laura’s path to the now had several stops. “I taught art in high school. I enjoyed guiding others to their creative paths. I no longer teach high school but I do teach art workshops,” noted Laura. “In San Diego I founded a company, Iconica. We were commissioned to create murals in residential properties. From the Sistine Chapel to Warhol flowers, we created paintings that met a client’s needs for a defined space. That experience helped me in my career as a fine artist. I understand the business side – from pricing to marketing. These are things that a fine arts education does not often prepare a working artist to handle.”

“Iconica was successful but as an artist, the need to create my own work was strong. I retreated to Unitarian Church’s camp in the San Bernardino National Forest. I spent 8 years there as artist-in-residence. The experience allowed me to find my unique voice; Laura Janes the artist, and not Laura Janes of Iconica. The experience allowed me to refine my palette and concentrate on the saturation and brightness of color and light.”

“There is seduction in nature. My work brings the shy side of nature out, Sensual, stimulating and approachable is the true side of nature.”

On May 5, Laura’s work will be opening at Gallery Lazzaro located at 41801 Corporate Way, suite 13, Palm Desert, CA.  For more information visit