Janas Smith Durkee

JUNE 2024

Janas will be live painting on Timucua’s stage on June 7th, 16th and the 22nd.


I love to paint.  I usually am working on some sort of series like people, animals in odd places, narrative works.  I paint what I observe, and then put a little twist on it for fun because I like my work to inspire a story. 

To me, stories equal beauty.  I am inspired by experiences told by those who lived them equally to the ones I make up in my own head.  I have to admit, I am highly entertained while painting.

I was born and raised on a small farm in rural Indiana where we were all expected to help with chores and also to show kindness and love to the animals.  Respect was a given- especially the respect for our family members and friends. I was observant.

Since my simple childhood, I have lived in several places, from the midwest, to the Pacific Northwest to California and now Orlando, Florida. I find it wonderful. Beyond the Mouse’s shadow, Orlando is an inspiring place for the arts.  The stories here are more than magical.

I grew up amidst great story-tellers, so when I paint, I’m looking for what my subject wants me to hear whether it’s in their voice, or in their look. Sometimes, it seems as though I am back to my childhood sitting at the foot of my grandpa’s chair listening to stories of the foothills of the Appalachians. Sometimes, it’s like having a glass of wine with an old friend.  Sometimes, I draw from the inner comic book writer and just make up something fun!

To know more, visit Janas Smith Durkee’s website.

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