An Artist's Inspiration: Landscapes of Warwick's Village

In May, 2011 Janet Howard-Fatta begins her plein air painting series in the village of Warwick...


Janet painted in all kinds of weather conditions. She writes:

I have found out that my umbrella is only water resistant, not waterproof.

May 17th, 2011 - Another Rainy May Day

Today I painted in the car, (inspired by a fellow AIP member that I met at our event in Nyack, Crista Piscano). I sat in my car on Main Street, luckily my husbands car has a sunroof, and allowed me to sit in the light and paint. The car has some serious tinted windows, so that cut down on some of the light. It was so misty out today, I awoke feeling damp and figured I try something new to avoid getting saturated.

The light kept changing with the density of the clouds and so I got a little indecisive with the color of the shadows, I could have worked on it 3 more hours.

My friend Matthew came by and took a shot of me, I wasn’t quite finished with the painting at this point. I really want to paint Akins in the evening when those aluminum letters pick up all the colors reflected from the setting sun. Another day…

May 23, Painting In the Car


Janet kept a journal recording her thoughts...

10 reasons why I love painting outside in the Village of Warwick.

10. My palette staying wet and not wasting any paint.

9. The feeling that I am capturing a moment in history, it seems important.

8. The aroma of delicious food wafting through the air.

7. The unexpected gift of getting a jump start of my summer highlights in my hair.

6. Watching the light shift and change at different times of day and how that affects color.

5. Seeing all my different artist friends around town, there are so many of you.

4. Meeting new friendly people on the street.

3. This goal has caused me to have a huge excuse of why there are dirty dishes in the sink and the laundry not done.

2. The feeling that I can’t stop painting, That it is something that I have to do everyday.

It is so hard to choose the #1 reason, there is part of me that wants to say it is Cappucino Crunch ice cream cones at Cafe A la Mode, but the truth is I did not buy one of those cones, because I love it too much that I have to stay away.

1. The real # one reason is painting plein-air keeps me in the moment, in that power of now and makes me feel so alive and in tune to the world around me. It satisfies my intellectual connection to the history of art, the sound of the birds, fills my spirit and physically sets me up to be present. And those two hours that I spent outside recharges me in other areas of my life.


Here we discover her unique connection to the Village of Warwick as a special place and experience her process of making art...

Sunday Morning

I love antiques, I love architecture, and The Eclectic Eye is one of my favorite Warwick shops. I wanted to paint a store front, and I chose the eclectic eye because the store front is kind of like a visual musical grid to me. After I did a sketch, it was decided that this was the location for the day.

I stood on Railroad Green under the shade of a a huge Maple. I met the man who welded Fredrick Franck’s sculptures for 22 years, he enchanted me with his stories while I painted.


At first, I look and keep looking, mixing up colors before I paint. I find my lights in warm and cold tones, and my darks in warm and cool tones, and local colors – on the dark side. Then I begin to apply paint, usually in blocks of color. Sometimes I start with pure color, and sometimes I start with dark shadows. Here the dark shadows helped define the space. I took photos along the way, and made a progression semi-slide show of the development of this piece.

When I was done, I realized it was Sunday Morning, and I recalled Edward Hopper’s Sunday morning. How very Ironic. And I laughed and said it was a Janet Hoppard, how cliche and ridiculous, but it made me laugh!

From Sept 1 -30, 2011, Janet featured those plein air paintings and presented them as part of an exhibition at the Albert Wisner Library entitled An Artist's Inspiration: Landscapes of Warwick's Village and Town.

Janet writes: "For me as an artist, this is about looking deeper at a place, past the pretty scenery, experiencing it and capturing a fleeting moment. It is also the art of finding beauty everywhere and about possibility. I was very inspired by the Edward Hopper Exhibit this winter at the Whitney. Warwick has that quaint, wholesome character that is typical in Hopper's work. Through the use of color temperature, light and atmosphere, I'm hoping the unique sense of Warwick can be experienced through my paintings. In spring a whole new breath gets cast into the air in the Hudson Valley with blossoms and farmers markets and I was delighted to be outside painting in it with people on the streets of Warwick. It is a fantastic place to live.


JHF-WVLAd72Hudson Valley artist Janet Howard-Fatta creates a variety of works from landscapes in oil depicting place and time, to figurative works in wet and dry media. Light, color and a love of nature are the driving forces behind her work. Janet's work reflects a relationship between the world around her and the painted image. She strives to create a visual representation of what she experiences through her senses. Janet is a Pratt Graduate, currently a board member of Artists in the Parks, and facilitates the Warwick Life Drawing Group. She lives in Warwick, NY with her husband and two children. 


To read a previous story about Janet Howard-Fatta, we recommend our feature story Fine Arts, Finding Balance and Family Life with Artists Janet and Louis Fatta. Includes video coverage of Louis Fatta's artmaking process.

To purchase Janet's book of paintings about the village, click here.

To purchase Janet's notecards, visit her website and Postal Plus in New Milford.

For more info about her Upcoming Exhibit: Trailworks Holiday Exhibit "Good Things, Small Packages"- November 12th-January 8th, 2012 click here

Janet will be offering a spring Plein Air Painting Workshop - Saturday, April 21-22nd, 2012 - 9AM-2PM. For more information, click here.