Vermilion Arts Guild's Janet Waggoner: Painting the Town

Janet Waggoner loves to paint portraits of houses and paying attention to details helps her capture their essence, like a dog lying on the porch or a cat sunning itself on a window sill. She loves the challenge that comes with portraying the places that people call “home.”

As a member of the Vermilion Arts Guild, Janet’s main medium is watercolor. While she leans toward painting homes, she also likes to focus on architectural elements, historic buildings and sometimes houses that no longer exist. One client even sent her a photo of a family home lost in the Johnstown flood, a catastrophic event in Pennsylvania in 1889, in an effort to both create and preserve a memory.  .

Janet worked as an art teacher in elementary, middle and high schools, which she gave up once she started her family. Yet art remained an integral part of her life. For 25 years she participated in outdoor juried arts festivals where she sold her work and accepted commissions. Janet has taught watercolor classes for 30 years and has worked in just about every medium, even illustrating a book her daughter wrote about Linwood.

While Janet recently became a permanent resident of Vermilion her great grandfather arrived here in 1879 as a circuit preacher with the E & R Church.  He was one of the founding German ministers in Linwood Park. A little over 100 years, Janet and her husband John bought their own Linwood cottage to create a family home for their children and grandchildren.

Today, wherever Janet travels she makes sure to join other art groups and guilds and takes lessons when possible knowing that each artist has something to share and that helps her evolve her own personal style.

Janet enjoys the Vermilion Arts Guild and the fellowship she shares with other artists. She is excited about the renewal of Ritter Public Library’s Community Art Show and is looking forward to the library’s centennial show featuring a collection of original art depicting the library.

“Art is important to life and helps people see the beauty around them,” she said, “and the Arts Guild is a key part of sharing that beauty.” Janet is also appreciative of Main Street Vermilion for revitalizing the town and providing the artists with plenty of material for promoting the beauty of the community.

You can see Janet's work here 

Author: Dana Smith, Main Street Vermilion Intern



Marilou Suszko