Janet Bonneau: Impressionistic Plein Air Oil Paintings

Published on Jan. 9th 2013

Vermont native and plein air artist Janet Bonneau is typically inspired by her state’s mountains, rivers and fields with due respect for their infinite beauty. Now, in light of a recent tragedy, she paints to raise awareness—as well as funds to be applied toward vet bills—for her beautiful German shepherd, Ruger, who was shot purposefully in his chest by a deer hunter in the woods over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Thankfully, he survived, but we are devastated someone would do this to a family pet. Unless the police can extract a confession from the person(s) we suspect, any attempt to recoup money (more than $7,000 in medical at this point) from them will be really hard,” Janet explained.

Janet has organized an ongoing art sale, in which a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Stray Animal Fund at Burlington Emergency Veterinary services, the animal hospital which saved Ruger’s life. The remaining money will go toward Ruger’s medical expenses.

(As I write this, all of the paintings below could still be purchased, but please check with Janet if you are interested in a particular piece.)

In this first painting, low-hanging clouds and a dense, endlessly rolling field of amber corn showcase just another day spent on the farm. But if you’re allergy-prone, beware—Corn Chopping Time is not the ideal season for you!

corn chopping time

Corn dust abounds as the crop is plucked from golden husks bending and breaking toward their brittle demise. As the surrounding landscape turns orange, brown and yellow with the onset of autumn, the only green that remains is bright farm machinery hard at work in the distance.

Is there not a more gorgeous time of year than autumn in Vermont’s sprawling countryside? I’m getting itchy just thinking about it!

And if you thought red is the only color for an apple (or green) think again! This alluring painting entitled Impressionist Apple contains just about every color in the rainbow, and still looks good enough to eat!

impressionistic apple

The surrounding light reflects texturized blues, purples and yellows from this apple’s waxy peel. Accents of blue and yellow in the background tie the array of colors together, while midnight black shadows add contour and dimensionality to its perfectly round form.

The overall effect is a still life that is bright and colorful, yet soft and subtle. Whichever you feel best describes this painting, one thing is for sure—it is undeniably appealing!

Last but not least, the cool tones of Lamoille River in Winter make me instantly want to grab a coat, scarf and mittens!

lamoille river in winter

Everything in this painting is a reminder that winter is in full effect. The purple shadows along the mountainside, frost among the trees, thin air, icy riverbed and landscape blanketed in snow reveal a quiet moment deep within the wilderness.

Foliage is frozen in time, jutting out stiffly in the brisk mountain air, animals are months into hibernation and people dare not disturb the location, choosing instead to hunker down inside under blankets with hot cocoa.

Be sure to check out Janet’s website for more information on her cause, and also to view her new “Art for Ruger” gallery, which includes affordable oil sketches created especially for this fundraiser.

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