Janis Commentz is a Mojave Desert painter known for her color-intense palette and loose brush strokes. She is a third generation Los Angeles artist who began drawing and painting early in life. As the daughter and niece of artists, she was surrounded by art materials and enjoyed trips to galleries and museums, as well as seasonal trips to the California coastal art colonies of Laguna Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea. She cannot remember a time when she was not drawing or painting. During Covid, some of her fondest art moments have been hosting a weekly Zoom painting group and encouraging other artists.
Commentz moved to the Mojave Desert after attending university to teach high school art and English. At the University of Redlands, she earned a B.A. in painting and British Literature and studied printmaking with John Nava, well-known for his tapestries at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. She holds an M.A. in Education from California State University at San Bernardino. She facilitated life drawing sessions for nearly a decade and teaches art classes locally and plein air workshops for the Joshua Tree National Park Desert Institute.
She exhibits in local galleries near Joshua Tree and Redlands. In February 2020, she opened her Etsy shop, French Press, a collection of paper goods inspired by her travel sketches and watercolors created in France where she fell in love with the City of Light and the French countryside.
Commentz has participated in the well-known Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours for 10 years and other local art festivals and fairs. Her artwork has been selected by local juried events such as the Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Exposition, and she has been a gallery director in Joshua Tree. She lives with her husband near Joshua Tree, California, and they have two adult children.
Etsy Shop, French Press: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtbyJanisCommentz
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