“My inspiration comes from the positive feelings and warmth I get from the world around me: family, faith, traditions and community.” – Janet Barnes

Janet Barnes is an artist whose paintings reflect the values of what is most important to her in life. The consistent themes within all of Janet’s paintings are community and belonging, whether it be with family sharing daily experiences at the dinner table, musicians practicing for their performances, or girlfriends gathering in a cafe. Her latest exhibition runs this month through October in downtown Benicia.

Janet will tell you that Jacob Lawrence, who was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, had a profound effect on her paintings. His influence can be seen in her use of bold, bright colors and her depictions of everyday life. “Sitting down to dinner every day, or having Thanksgiving dinner with my family, leaves me with a positive feeling of belonging, and I share this feeling through my paintings,” she says. Janet categorizes her style of art as social abstract with people always being the main focus in each painting.

Janet Barnes


Although Janet studied art history and advanced art at CSU Sacramento, she considers herself self-taught. She recently received first-place awards for her paintings in juried competitions in galleries around the North Bay, and her work has been shown at the Joyce Gordon Art Gallery in Oakland and San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

The Benicia Community can view Janet’s solo show entitled New Works 2018 at the Milinda Perry Gallery, 117 East F Street, Benicia, 707.816.1655, Sept. 1-Oct. 29. The public is also invited to an artist reception Saturday, Sept. 8, 5-7pm.