Janet Kasnett Manuta is a local artist and art educator in southeastern Arizona. I have been teaching art for over 40 years, first in the Washington, D.C. area, then in Upstate New York, and most recently in Seattle. We relocated to Sunsites, AZ in October 2020.
I express my love of the outdoors with hand-painted cut paper collages, inspired by the artist, Henri Matisse. I work to create an energetic balance of positive and negative space with organic shapes derived from nature. My intention is for each piece to evoke a feeling of rhythm and balance where patterns of color and shapes invite the viewer to experience a personal connection. For example, I have experimented with tea leaf stained papers in my series of teapots and tea cups. Most recently, the light and shadows of the Cochise Stronghold have engaged me in new directions.
Here’s a link to an article about my art education program at Hope Lutheran School in Seattle: https://hls.hopeseattle.org/think-outside-the-box-with-art/
I also created the illustrations for the book This Is What’s Up, Doc — The Unauthorized Biography of Bugs Bunny.
I begin by painting sheets of drawing paper with acrylic paint, focusing on creating different color palettes for each collage. As I begin cutting out shapes, or “drawing with scissors,” (without any pre-drawn sketches), different themes and designs evolve from my imagination where visual images I have experienced have left an impression in my mind.
With my recent move to the desert southwest, I have begun to enjoy exploring the natural beauty and history of this amazing area. The unique natural landscapes I have discovered inspire my creative processes.
Each piece may go through many changes and revisions, until a feeling of balance between colors and shapes has been achieved.