Janet Gruman

Janet first learned about negative space in a drawing class at Lassen College. The instructor, Ben Barker, told the class to look at a particular tree and draw everything—every shape—we saw, except the tree. She was 19 years old, and though it wasn’t her first art class, she hadn’t ever heard of negative space.

Years later she began taking art classes at Grunewald Guild. Pottery, acrylics painting, drawing, more pottery, building a personal altar, and more pottery. She spent the summer of 2016 as the Guild breakfast cook and took some interest in mosaic and stained glass. She didn’t take the class, but that
summer she bought several hundred pieces of glass from the glass studio to take home, and with most of it, she resurfaced a bistro table.

A few years later she took inventory and used the remaining glass—all translucent, warm fall colors—to experiment on a glass substrate.  And though she had laid out every piece of glass without considering negative space, her eyes were drawn to a handful of shapes that would be filled with grout.

From that point forward the designs of all her art have been two-fold: the orientation of the stained glass and the shapes of the spaces between that they “form.” This creative freedom continues to surprise her and keeps her coming back to the studio for more.

Janet also teaches grouted stained glass through the Pamona Valley Art Association.