Lines and Colors art blog

Janet Fish
Janet Fish is an American painter whose still life paintings seem to radiate color. Using a high chroma palette, in combinations that in lesser hands might fall into the garish, Fish produces harmonious compositions that vibrate with energy and light.

She often chooses as her subjects objects that are translucent, transparent or reflective, in particular colored glass. She surrounds these with flowers, bright cloth patterns and other objects in brilliant hues, balanced with strategically placed rich darks, and somehow manages to tame those wild arrays of color into images that seem at once preternaturally intense and perfectly naturalistic.

Fish is widely recognized and her work is in the collections of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

There are a few catalogs and collections of her work; Janet Fish: Paintings by Vincent Katz is in print and readily available.

Fish is represented by the DC Moore Gallery in NY, which also showcases a nice selection of her work online. I’ve listed other galleries and additional resources below.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of her works in person. They are often fairly large in scale and striking.

In rooms in which there are works by several artists, hers inevitably stand out and command your attention. Unlike many contemporary works about which that can be said, Fish’s paintings also reward extended viewing; small areas can be looked at in detail as wonderfully arranged shapes of color and tone. Her command of the arrangement of elements of color can be seen even more clearly in her graphic work.


12 responses to “Janet Fish”

  1. Janet’s beautiful paintings gave me the idea to turn my working table around to profit from daylight as she does. My fave medium is coloured pencil; Karisma, CARAN D’ACHE etc. Roses are a real challenge!
    Thanks, Charley.

  2. Janet’s paintings are so very beautiful! I love working with coloured pencil, charcoals, and chalks. Thank you for the inspiration! Have a wonderful day.
    Thank you,Sherry

  3. Oh, la, “radiate color” is right! Beautiful.

  4. Wow! is all I can say. Janet Fish is one of the artist’s that inspired me to stick with realism way back in the 70’s. Her work is huge, and when you photograph and shrink it, it is incredible to behold. But seeing it in person is heavenly. The colors are so vivid. Do you know of any articles on her approach and technique to oil painting? Is it direct, or done in layers?

    Thanks for posting this. It brings back such fond memories.

    Easy oil painting

  5. Is this the pencil draw or you have made use of water colors. Whatever it may be i just enjoyed it and totally impressed on you.
    Just one word “Lovely”

  6. If I’m not mistaken Janet Fish only works in oils. There’s this link that has the most paintings of her to enjoy on display:
    Wow! is all I can say.

    1. She paints primarily in oil, but also does watercolor and screen prints. Thanks for the additional link.

  7. I saw ‘Raspberries and Goldfish’ at a traveling museum show once. It blew me away at the time and is still one of my favorite paintings. If you’ve ever seen a Maxfield Parrish painting in person there is a similar intensity and sense of light to it.

  8. Two words to say:Just Beautiful! She has inspired me so much

  9. I was first introduced to Janet Fish when I saw her painting in the Cantor Arts Museum at Stanford, in July ’11 and since then I have tried to research all I can about her.

    I loved the painting I saw there, Goldfish and Autumn Leaves that you have a picture of above (4th from top). It is a truly mesmerizing painting, and you are right that if you see the scale of the painting and work out all the details of each small patch, you really don’t tire of looking at it.

    She’s a great artist, I wish her the best, and thank you for the good read.

  10. Julia Logue Avatar
    Julia Logue

    I think your work is absolutely wonderful. Entirely a work of an nonametuer. I wqas introduced to Janet Fish was I was in my milikg teeth. My mobile was of Janet Fishs’ paintings. I have always thought of Janet as a part of myself and if she ever stopped making masterpieces I would feel as if I lost an arm or leg.

  11. Zilia Avatar

    You should write the names of the paintings by the paintings.