Artist StatementThe name of the ancient Greek earth goddess, Gaia, which came to mean earth, evolved to the idea that all aspects of our planet work together and affect each other like one organism. With the planet fully immersed in the Anthropocene period, I choose to create abstract art images that can be considered visually at either micro or macro levels. I respond to what captivates my waking thoughts regarding the dilemma of humans’ impact upon the earth. What is happening to our planet? Can beauty come from decay, in dis-ease, internally, externally? Continuing my longstanding practice of beginning works with pre-existing materials, my "Gaia" series began from vestiges of mixed media drawing and painting demos that I did for a course I was teaching. As happened with these, I sometimes work further into my in-class experiments and end up liking the results as new works. Drawing into my scattering of copier toner dust upon paper after fusing it with heat became an expanded way of working with one of my favorite materials. Generally, in the process of my artmaking I use any techniques from among the great many that I teach and use, freely mixing whichever ones seem most appropriate at the time in my attempts to transform scrappy beginnings into imagery that I find to be aesthetically beautiful.
Janet Maher works in many disciplines and has taught a wide range of mixed media, printmaking, book arts, design and drawing courses since 1997 at Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore from which she retired as a Professor Emeritus of Art. Her works are in many public and private collections and has been shown nationally, internationally, regionally and locally through juried competitions and other opportunities. She is a Signature Member of the National Collage Society, and the author of two scholarly books: From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley (2012, Apprentice House, Baltimore, MD) and Waterbury Irish (2015, History Press).