Inspired by celebrity

Painting: Artist puts her stamp on well-known faces.

Heather Janzen has a knack for brushes with celebrity.

The Shuswap artist has been painting for about eight years. But it’s only been in the past year or so that her home, particularly the living room, has become a gallery of music and Hollywood icons –  famous portraits of even more famous celebrities re-interpreted in oil on canvas (and wood).

Among these works are images of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Alice Cooper, Johnny Cash, Madonna and Al Pacino in a moment from the film Scarface.

Janzen’s penchant for portraits is, in part, a reflection of her personality and the people she admires.

“I’ve always liked Madonna. I’m a fan of hers. I’m into a little bit of shock value I think, if for the right reasons you know,” Janzen explained. “I’ve tried to get away from doing the portraits, but I always go back to them… maybe it’s because I always wanted to be a rock star.”

That said, Janzen’s body of work consists of a variety of subjects and styles, done in oil, acrylic, charcoal and chalk. She’s also tried her hand at sculpting. However, it’s the oils that have drawn some recent attention.

Janzen had a few works on show at this year’s Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club Arts and Crafts Show at Sicamous’ Red Barn. While an abstract and a large galactic scene garnered plenty of attention, it was a smaller oil portrait of Elvis that wound up leaving the building.

The painting, textured to the point of being almost thee-dimensional, sold early in the show – something Janzen is taking well, given the sacrifice involved.

“I miss that one, I just do. I get really attached,” said Janzen, laughing as she explains how her family is encouraging her to sell more of her work.

“That’s why I think I hang on to a lot of my paintings – I’ve only been painting since 2007 and I don’t know really how I do it. So I was thinking it might be a fluke, so I tend to keep hanging on to them. But, as it turns out, I keep being able to paint them so it’s more than just a fluke.”

While largely self-taught, Janzen has seen her artistic abilities broaden under the guidance of local artists Rebecca Shepherd and Lisa Figueroa. She also credits the Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club, who she plans to paint with again soon.

Janzen says she’s had offers on the Johnny Cash and others. No sale yet though. For her, painting is more a form of therapy, through a process that, despite her experience to date, is still something of a mystery.

“I really paint from my heart, and usually, when I’m painting… it doesn’t really make sense until the end, and it just kind of all pulls together for me, like in about the last five minutes of the painting. It’s kind of neat,” said Janzen.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Back in play: Columbia Shuswap Regional District reopening playgrounds

Signs with reminders about COVID-19 regulations will be posted

RCMP seek to identify person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

Police believe a June 4 residential garage fire was deliberately set

Salmon Arm demonstrators show unity with Black Lives Matter movement

Participants speak out against systemic racism and targeting of vulnerable populations

Revelstoke, North Okanagan RCMP team up to nab Alberta man, stolen BMW

Helicopter, dogs used in North Okanagan highway arrest

Salmon Arm West bridge construction expected to begin in fall 2020

Budget for Highway 1 project up $20 million over intial 2016 estimate

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

COVID-19: Closed B.C. businesses allowed to sell liquor stock

Sales allowed to other licensees that can reopen

Trudeau to offer premiers billions to help reopen the economy safely

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

Most Read