Janelle Marks is a textile and mixed media artist and the owner of Hands and Harts. She has a BS degree in Textile and Apparel Studies with a design emphasis from Western Michigan University. Janelle has her studio in Jackson, Michigan. She grew up all over the western part of the United States. Living in many different areas with varying scenery had given her much to draw on while making art. From the desert of New Mexico, to the wild mountains of Alaska and the settled farm lands of Michigan, to name a few, she has lived in a variety of natural environments. All of the places she has lived have had an impact on her art and creative choices.
Janelle lives in a beautiful area of lower Michigan and uses her natural environment as inspiration. Much of her art uses the seasons as inspiration and even in the formation of her art. The sunny summer days are perfect for sun printing and for creating wonderfully intense dyed fabric. The cold winter days provide snow that Janelle uses to snow dye fabric. She is inspired by the awesome forces of nature outside her window.
During college Janelle started dyeing garments and fabric which turned into an artistic love and a bit of an obsession. She has been practicing fabric dyeing for nine years. Janelle also dyes ribbons, threads, lace, and any other natural fibers that she comes across. In the last several years Janelle has taken up art quilting where she uses her uniquely created fabrics, threads, and ribbons. She uses her hand-dyed fabric in her quilts, crafts, wearable art, and home goods as well. She has been excited by surface design for many years and enjoys manipulating fabric to make unique and exciting pieces.
Janelle branched out into mixed media in the last few years and in it has found another wonderful creative outlet. She loves to combine all kinds of materials to make her art with a lot of layers peaking through. Many layers add to the mystery and wonder of her pieces. She has taken on-line classes from a variety of artists to learn new techniques and improve her skills. She also loves to learn from the artists in the Jackson Civic Art Association and the quilters from the Pieces and Patches Quilt Guild. Art is a journey and she is always striving to create new meaning in her pieces and to use different techniques.
Janelle started her own creative business in the fall of 2012 so that she had a better platform to reach other creative people. She wants to share her art and inspire others to follow their own creative dreams. She loves sharing her process and guiding others to find their way on their own artistic journey. She spent six months on a design team for Artistcellar, an on-line art supply and stencil company. During her time on the design team she produced a new project every week using the company’s products. She also wrote a blog post explaining the steps and motivation behind each one of the projects. Janelle thinks that sharing with the community is an important function of every artist. It broadens people’s understanding of and their appreciation for the visual arts. She continues sharing through her company blog and this website.
Janelle had two pieces accepted into the JCAA Biennial Exhibit that runs from May 17th to July 5th, 2014. She also showed one of her quilts in the Pieces and Patches Quilt Guild show “Everything’s Coming up Quilts” in May of 2014. Her quilt “Winter Woods” one first place in it’s category at the Jackson County Fair. She plans on entering many more shows in the future.
You can see her website here.